Jeopardy: Emancipation spelling error costs boy $3,000; Social media backlash: "not a spelling bee" [VIDEO]
Fans of the quiz show "Jeopardy!" are outraged after the show deemed a 12-year-old's answer wrong because of a slight spelling error.
Thomas Hurley III lost $3,000 when he took part in the show's Kid's week special, which aired last Wednesday. He answered the Final Jeopardy! question right, but lost three grand for misspelling the word "Emancipation."
The final question was: "Abraham Lincoln called this document, which took effect in 1863, "a fit and necessary war measure.""
The 8th grader answered it correctly, but spelled it with an extra 't', writing: "What is the Emanciptation Proclamation?"
Host Alex Trebek said Thomas "misspelled it bad", saying "that's unfortunate.. the judges are ruling against you."
Thomas was placed second in the show with $9,600 before losing $3,000. His father, Thomas Hurley II, told CNN: "The thing that bothered me most was the way Alex Trebek and the producers treated my son. They were kind of smug. It's a kids' tournament! Everyone knew what he meant." He continued, "[he]was barely holding it together, he was almost in tears. He had to relive it on Wednesday."
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Despite getting the answer wrong for the spelling, Thomas still would not have won the game, as fellow contestant Skyler Hornback took home $66,000 – an all-time record for kids.
Producers of Jeopardy said, "If Jeopardy! were to give credit for an incorrect response (however minor), the show would effectively penalize the other players. We love presenting young people as contestants on our show, and make every effort to be fair and consistent in their treatment."
However, fans of the show have taken to social media to express their disagreement.
"Jeopardy is not a spelling bee game and frankly before Alex Trebek or the judges penalize this boy for not spelling a word correctly then Alex trebek needs too explain too the contestants that spelling matters in the final around," said Ash Cruz Rios-James on Facebook.