Did kid get cheated out of Jeopardy win?

Maybe you’ve seen this story already.

The kid says he feels cheated out of the win since he got the correct answer for final jeopardy, Emancipation Proclamation.
However, he misspelled it EmancipTation Proclamation.

I think the answer on this one is pretty easy. Is it the rule in Jeopardy that written answers are spelled correctly?
If so then this kid has no leg to stand on.
However, what has occured in the past on the show? This can’t be the first time someone misspelled an answer. Have they let it slide before? Have they been consistant in holding to this rule?
The only way I see this kid having an arguement is if he can show examples of them not adhering to the rule in the past. Are there any examples?

Moving this to Cafe Society from Great Debates.

Two important points: he was not going to win anyway. Right or wrong he was going to finish a very, very distant second (the first-place kid won $66,000). I can’t remember seeing a Final Jeopardy answer that was thrown out because of poor spelling, but contestants are warned that spelling counts. It’s really much ado about nothing.

I recall a Final Jeopardy answer ruled wrong when the contestant wrote Sally Fields instead of Sally Field. It was also a tournament game, I think.

In Final Jeopardy, yes. Earlier rounds are more lenient as to pronunciation or spelling, if those factors are involved.

If the misspelling doesn’t change the pronunciation, then it’s ruled correct. If it does change the pronunciation, then it’s ruled as incorrect. So “emanciptation” is incorrect because it adds an extra ‘t’ sound that changes the pronunciation. If he’d misspelled it as “emansuhpation” or something along those lines, it would’ve been ruled correct because the pronunciation is the same. And, he was nowhere close to winning anyway, so his standing and prize would’ve remained unchanged regardless.

It was kind of rude for Alex to say it was misspelled “badly.” It wasn’t misspelled badly, just enough to change the pronunciation. But Alex is kind of a dipshit.

Overall, the kid needs to buck up and quit being a whiny little bitch.

Ken Jennings says the same thing Strainger said. I guess that’s kind of appropriate since “Strainger” might be a misspelling that doesn’t change the pronunciation of a word.

Pointless griping. As Marley23 notes, spelling counts, and he was 'way down in winnings anyway.

I assume it was just some kind of brain fart, where the kid was thinking of the “-tion” ending and somehow the “t” snuck in a little too soon for whatever reason. (I have typos like that happen to me all the time.) I doubt he actually says “emanciptation.” Still, if the rule is misspelling is okay as long at it sounds the same, then he’s wrong on that basis. Plus, as said, it didn’t really matter in the end.

If he had spelled it correctly and won, he would have been in second place and his prize would have been $2000.

However, since he spelled it incorrectly, he ended up in second place and had to take home $2000 instead.

I think he’s upset because Alex Trebek called him a bad speller on national television.

I’m surprised that’s the rule. It seems way too open to interpretation. I, for one, wouldn’t necessarily pronounce “emancipation” and “emansuhpation” the same way, although I would understand what the latter was trying for (just as I understand the spelling with the mistaken ‘t’). It’s not like English has standard enough pronunciation rules that you can get two random people to agree on the proper way to say a made up word…

Does this rule mean that someone could write in “ghoti” instead of “fish” and get the answer correct because the pronunciation doesn’t change?

No. “Ghoti” isn’t a word, it’s a joke about how letters are sometimes pronounced differently when they’re parts of different words.

Yes. Even if that remark had been directed at an adult, it would have been rude. But to a child…for shame, Alex.

The kid should have claimed that it was a Silent T. That would have softened the blow, particularly for his parents who may have been listening from their castle’s kitchen, worrying about the mortgage and how to pay for the Christmas presents. But then to mention the “silent t” issue might have been mere whistling in the dark. It was the kid’s television debut. We mustn’t judge.

I think he was trying to explain why the spelling error mattered.

That would have been fine: to say “this misspelling affects the pronunciation, and that’s why it must be ruled incorrect.” Or words to that effect. THAT would have been educational.

“Misspelled badly” is just judgmental. It doesn’t educate.

If the answer was about a country being invaded, Sean Connery would have misspelled it “What is YOUR MOTHER, TREBEK?”

Stuff like that happens when people speak off the cuff. But it’s true this is not the first time Alex has been accused of being haughty.

Yes. Even so, of course, this is far from being an earthshaking story. But I do hope Alex will at least strive to be a little kinder to the children appearing on Kids Week, in future. :slight_smile:

The kid who won was also a serious Lincoln buff as well, it came up in his interview, and Alex had to sheepishly explain that the Final Jeopardy! answer being related to Lincoln was just a coincidence. That kid was a wizard, easily the most impressive “Kids Week” contestant in my memory.

The “t” is silent so it doesn’t change the pronunciation.

The rule it he rule, but I would say that if your misspelling isn’t actually a different word and it is clear what you meant and doesn’t directly contradict the category, they should just let it go.

So I’d be fine accepting that answer unless the category had been “12 Letter Words with Just One T” or he’d misspelled it “Emaciation Proclamation.”

I figure he gets the same amount of money either way and now he has a more interesting story. Instead of “I came in second at Jeopardy!”, he can say “I came in second at Jeopardy because Alex Trebek is a cocksucker.”