Did kid get cheated out of Jeopardy win?

I’m a bit shocked that people watch the kids’ week. As with high school week, it’s one of the times I am careful to tune out. (College week I watch, because the questions are usually blisteringly easy and I can feel all superior. :p) This particular temp(t)est in a teap(t)ot has me wondering: If you find yourself unsure of the pronunciation of your Final Jeopardy answer, would the best thing to do be to deliberately render it as an illegible scrawl and then when Alex struggles to read it, chirp up with the answer? Just have to be sure it’s good enough to plausibly be accepted as an attempt; no using a squiggle like I usually do on electronic signature pads. Also, wouldn’t want to have the “What is a” in perfect block lettering, followed by incomprehensible scrawl.

That’d be a lie, though, because he’d already lost.

Yeah, but that’s not as interesting…

Looking at the amounts he couldn’t have won.

But it says he lost money. Was this the first round of the tournament where his non-winning score might have put him through to the semi-finals? So that 12,600 vs. 6,600 might have made a difference there?

Otherwise, in addition to everything else I’m wondering why he only bet $3,000.

I think he could have won, no? Didn’t the fat kid bet more way more than he should have i.e. he had a guaranteed win if he bet $17,400 or less. Instead, he went balls-out with $30,000. That’s actually a much more compelling aspect of the show than some spelling nit.

Going into FJ Thomas had $9,600 and Skyler had $36,000. There was no way for Thomas to win unless Skyler had given a wrong answer.

Yeah, but that’s always a possibility. Skyler took a bit of a risk (not much of one, mind you) to the point where Trebek felt compelled to comment.

Now, if Trebek had said “You wagered really badly…”

Does anyone else find “emanciptation” very difficult to pronounce?

It’s perfectly cromkulent.

As others who have been on Jeopardy point out, they make a point during contestant briefing before the games to spell out the distinction between a mildly misspelled Final Jeopardy answer and a badly misspelled FJ answer.

Alex may not have used the best judgement applying the term to a kid’s answer, but the ‘badly misspelled’ distinction is part of the show’s rules.

They show examples, and demonstrate how each one was either correct or incorrect. There are also a panel of judges as well as an impartial official observer on hand if you have a gripe about a ruling. That’s how it was when I was on the College Tournament some years back, and I have to believe that it is the same for every game including Kids.

Like some have pointed out, it’s likely the kids’ parents being sore losers - he knew the answer but spelled it incorrectly. The rules are the rules, though, and if they bend the rules for kids, then other contestants would have grounds to seek action against the show’s producers.

I’m sure those of us who have been on game shows have some fun rules-based anecdotes to go along with this story. I was a contestant on Win Ben Stein’s Money, during the round where he competes on the panel, he stopped taping and argued loudly for several minutes with his own show’s judges when he was ruled incorrect. That was the answer that led to my winning the game, too.


I asked about that at the briefing they give you. If they can’t read it, you don’t get credit, and they get to decide if they can read it.

I don’t bother with kids’ week either. It must be absolutely agonizing to tank on a simple mistake like that, but if it happened to me, I’d be slinking into a corner instead of making a fuss. It didn’t change the outcome, and it’s very unfortunate, but I can’t fault the call.

Was that the question about the Immaculate Conception? I’ve heard stories about that one.

this reminds me of when some kid sent a suggestion to Apple for some software or product feature or something, and they sent back a form letter saying they don’t accept product ideas from outside the company. Some people went apeshit like it was the crime of the century and how traumatized that kid must have been.

I swear, some people lose their goddamned minds whenever children are involved. as for the topic of this thread, if it would have been a wrong answer on any other game of Jeopardy, then it should have been a wrong answer here. “Social media” can bitch all they want.

There’s no such word as “emanciptation.” This should have been sufficient to forestall all debate.

My advice to the kid would be: Learn how to spell, and don’t take your teacher’s word for anything. Look things up in the dictionary yourself.

From first-hand experience, I’m amazed at the poor English of many teachers nowadays. I thank God I attended school when I did (1960–73).

The kid is 12, it was a tough break but that this is public at all says to me it’s more likely its the parents that need to stop being whiny bitches.

I should have read the article before posting the above!

*“I was pretty upset that I was cheated out of the final Jeopardy! question. It was just a spelling error,” Hurley told the Danbury, Connecticut’s News-Times.

“It’s just upsetting to have lost that way,” Hurley said later. “I don’t know why it would have counted as the wrong answer.”*

This is such a typically Generation X answer! It’s wrong because it’s wrong, Doofey, and none of your whining will change that.

I can see you someday botching a US Government Terrorist Alert: “Sorry, I thought they were just going to bomb the Capitol, not the whole capital!”

(By the way, I wouldn’t have allowed Ken’s answer either. Grenada is an island in the Caribbean. Granada is a city in Spain.)

He’s several decades too young to be Generation X.

Thanks for the explanation. If “badly misspelled” is indeed a “technical term” on the show, I can’t blame Alex for using it.

FWIW this story got linked to on the “College Misery” blog, under the title “Coming to Your Freshman Class in Four More Years!”

The effects linger on.