Video: The great “Jeopardy” swindle

posted at 7:21 pm on August 5, 2013 by Allahpundit

Let the great debate begin. On behalf of the “don’t give him the money” position: Rules are rules, and the little guy needs to learn that sometimes there are disappointments in life. It’s character-building. Let him slide this time and before you know it he’ll be dealing drugs.

On behalf of the “c’mon” position: C’mon. C’mon.

C’mon:

Hurley lowered his head in defeat upon Trebek’s pronouncement. Trebek then praised winner Skyler Hornback for his answer, which he noted was spelled correctly…

“I was pretty upset that I was cheated out of the final `Jeopardy!’ question. It was just a spelling error,” said the Newtown Middle School student, who won $2,000 as the second runner-up.

Until now a fan and regular watcher of the quiz show, Thomas said this episode cost “Jeopardy!” a fan. It likely has cost the show some adult fans, too.

The reply:

In an email, producers of Jeopardy! defended Trebek’s decision.

“If ‘Jeopardy!’ were to give credit for an incorrect response (however minor), the show would effectively penalize the other players,” they said. “We love presenting young people as contestants on our show and make every effort to be fair and consistent in their treatment.”

The kid’s from Newtown, Connecticut, for cripes sake. If he had spoken the answer, they’d have awarded him the money without question. C’mon.


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Verbotten.

rogerb on August 5, 2013 at 7:24 PM

I saw the show. The kid got hosed but he would have finished in second place anyway.

myiq2xu on August 5, 2013 at 7:24 PM

rules are rules and it doesn’t matter where he’s from.

Timin203 on August 5, 2013 at 7:24 PM

No. Just no. Rules are rules. I’m tired of giving money to complainers.

Pincher Martin on August 5, 2013 at 7:25 PM

The kid had no chance of winning anyways. The kid who won, got it right, spelled it right and bet so much that he came close to being the biggest Child winner ever.

As to the spelling error, there were a lot of other kids who didn’t make it onto Jeopardy who could have spelled it right.

Tough break kid.

portlandon on August 5, 2013 at 7:25 PM

The other kid got it right. Rules are rules. And I’m a bad speller.

hepcat on August 5, 2013 at 7:26 PM

Cheer up kid. The winner is fat and wears glasses.

hepcat on August 5, 2013 at 7:27 PM

TV game shows that make you think: Old and busted.

Shows that GIVE stuff away: New Hotness

PappyD61 on August 5, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Sigh. Rulez iz rulez.

cynccook on August 5, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Those are the rules.

I am sure the kid who wrote down the Second Amendment meant to write the correct answer, so shouldn’t she win as well. Hey…couldn’t they all be winners?

sharrukin on August 5, 2013 at 7:28 PM

He spelled it wrong; thus, the answer was incorrect.

Sorry.

Resist We Much on August 5, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Kid’s life will be ruined.(been on every news program and U-tube all day)

This 15 minutes of fame will not be kind.

Barred on August 5, 2013 at 7:31 PM

The kid had no chance of winning anyways. The kid who won, got it right, spelled it right and bet so much that he came close to being the biggest Child winner ever.

portlandon on August 5, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Actually, the kid who won nearly broke the adult record. He smashed the kid record by twenty thousand or so.

joekenha on August 5, 2013 at 7:31 PM

After nearly 50 years of African-American-emphasized education (i.e. Crispus Attucks = Revolutionary War, George Washington Carver = Science, etc. etc.), I’m surprised any kind could miss this answer, since it’s about all they learn these days.

And since spelling has essentially been tossed out of the curriculum…

And since it wasn’t really a spelling error per se, but really just a “manual typo,” what they call a “fingerfehler” in German…

I therefore agree with the “”C’mon” position.

C’mon!!?!?!

Zombie on August 5, 2013 at 7:32 PM

OK, Allah, if we give this kid the money because of one letter, where do we draw the line?

If we know what a contestant meant even though he spelled it like: Imancepazion Pracluhmayzion, should he still win?

Rachel Jeantel really, really, really wants to know.

Resist We Much on August 5, 2013 at 7:32 PM

If he had spoken the answer, they’d have awarded him the money without question. C’mon.

Nope. Jeopardy hosed one contestant who said “Wimbleton” instead of “Wimbledon.”

rbj on August 5, 2013 at 7:32 PM

If the rules state perfect spelling, then I guess that is the case. What if it was not capitalized? Would that have negated the correct response? I did not know about the spelling rule, but have always thought Jeopardy! was a show about knowledge and not a spelling show. I think the rule should be looked at and still be fair to other contestants. But as long as that is the rule, then the ruling stands.

duggersd on August 5, 2013 at 7:33 PM

“I was pretty upset that I was cheated out of the final `Jeopardy!’ question. It was just a spelling error,” said the Newtown Middle School student

Cheated? Umm, cheated implies he was improperly punished…nope, the rules are pretty clear and you lost. Good opportunity for the mom and dad to teach him about being a good sport. Or maybe this kid takes his ball and goes home when he loses a game of HORSE with a friend.

How about instead we give kudos to that other kid for crushing the competition…AND for spelling the final question right (without auto-correct).

nextgen_repub on August 5, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Count me among the ‘C mon’ camp. I’ve seen them accept answers that are barely legible, where you couldn’t tell how it was spelled; in this case, it was obvious what his answer was.

changer1701 on August 5, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Saw that live. Didn’t really make a difference, though — the winner not only had a run-away, he was so confident that he bet everything in order to run his total up to 60k.

Count to 10 on August 5, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Okay, not actually “live”, but when it was broadcast.

Count to 10 on August 5, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Bet it really stank when the eighth grade bully took his lunch money the next day. Again.

M240H on August 5, 2013 at 7:34 PM

I haven’t been able to watch Jeopardy! since they started parodying the heck out of it on SNL, especially with the Sean Connery character.

Kafir on August 5, 2013 at 7:34 PM

I have spent about 0 effort following this non story but if they had ruled the answer as correct, doesn’t the kid still finish 2nd and still get the same 2,000?

So where exactly is the injury?

AndrewsDad on August 5, 2013 at 7:34 PM

Actually, the kid who won nearly broke the adult record. He smashed the kid record by twenty thousand or so.

joekenha on August 5, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Ah. I thought it was only the child record on jeopardy.

Even more reason The second place kid should stop whining.

portlandon on August 5, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Marvin Tikvah would be very upset about this. And I think we all know what he would say.

WarEagle01 on August 5, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Oh, come on. Everyone could tell he meant the Immaculate Reception.

Ronnie on August 5, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Does he read old skool cursive?

Too bad, little chump, I’ll bet you wished you had spent one less hour on Minecraft and one more hour studying the emancipitation proclamization.

Bishop on August 5, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Actually, the kid who won nearly broke the adult record. He smashed the kid record by twenty thousand or so.

joekenha on August 5, 2013 at 7:31 PM

That’s what you get when your final question (and a couple of categories) is about the Civil war, and one of your contestants is a Civil War buff.

Count to 10 on August 5, 2013 at 7:37 PM

Hey, kid. You lost this time. But you don’t have to like it.” – Some no name villain to Indiana Jones.

InterestedObserver on August 5, 2013 at 7:37 PM

So where exactly is the injury?

AndrewsDad on August 5, 2013 at 7:34 PM

He almost cried or something.

Ronnie on August 5, 2013 at 7:38 PM

The kid’s from Newtown, Connecticut, for cripes sake. If he had spoken the answer, they’d have awarded him the money without question. C’mon.

Wow, so much idiocy in one paragraph, Allah:

* His place of residence has absolutely no bearing on whether or not his response is correct (your suggestion that it should have a bearing is offensive — if he was from Lincoln, Nebraska, it would have been acceptable to say he was incorrect?).
* Final Jeopardy has been written since the show began, so how he would have responded orally is irrelevant.
* Even if Final Jeopardy was oral, if he said “Emanciptation Proclamation,” Alex Trebek would have said he was incorrect, since even in the regular rounds, adding an extra syllable to a word is considered an incorrect response.

diditagain on August 5, 2013 at 7:38 PM

What is Maxwell’s Silver Hammer?

rogerb on August 5, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Whoop-aaaaassss.

Electrongod on August 5, 2013 at 7:39 PM

Alex Trebec regularly comes off as very arrogant. It wasn’t necessary for him to say the kid spelled the word “badly” or for him to try to mispronounce it the way it was spelled or for him to emphasize that the winner spelled the word correctly. However, I agree, he spelled it wrong, he lost.

hopeful on August 5, 2013 at 7:41 PM

This was all about Trebek trying to keep his job, which the little guy mentioned he’d like to have a go at when he turns 18.

eucher on August 5, 2013 at 7:41 PM

The word “jeopardy” is not spelled with an exclamation point, either, so SUCK.IT.TREBEK!

Christien on August 5, 2013 at 7:42 PM

I saw the show. The kid got hosed but he would have finished in second place anyway.

myiq2xu on August 5, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Right. The funny thing was Alex Trebek characterized the mistake wrongly. He said there was an additional “p”. Wrong. There was an additional “t”. So how does Alex get penalized?

Paul-Cincy on August 5, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Failure is one of the best learning tools out there. Hopefully this kid learns something from it.

iceman1960 on August 5, 2013 at 7:43 PM

If this were a game of hoops and the kid missed a free throw would he be able to say that even though he bounced it off the rim, Trebek knew what he was trying to accomplish.

Bishop on August 5, 2013 at 7:43 PM

The kid’s from Newtown, Connecticut, for cripes sake.

I live within 100 miles of George Zimmerman. Can I be on Wheel of Fortune?

Ronnie on August 5, 2013 at 7:44 PM

At this point what does it matter
-HRC

Not just words but words to live by.

unseen on August 5, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Rules are rules. Seems pretty cut and dry to me. The kid has nothing to be ashamed of. We all make mistakes, and none of us “win ‘em all”.

Reggie1971 on August 5, 2013 at 7:45 PM

* Even if Final Jeopardy was oral, if he said “Emanciptation Proclamation,” Alex Trebek would have said he was incorrect, since even in the regular rounds, adding an extra syllable to a word is considered an incorrect response.

diditagain on August 5, 2013 at 7:38 PM

*bzzzzt*

No extra syllable was added. There are five syllables each in both the correct, and incorrect answers.

Paul-Cincy on August 5, 2013 at 7:45 PM

The fat kid who wound up winning had a total of 66600 dollars. Trebek is the devil, I tell ya! The devil!

Doughboy on August 5, 2013 at 7:45 PM

So how does Alex get penalized?

But the kid didn’t get “penalized”. Correct answer or not, he still finished a very distant 2nd. 2nd pays $2,000, he got $2,000.

AndrewsDad on August 5, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Buck up kid, life is not always fair and it is always hard.

bopbottle on August 5, 2013 at 7:46 PM

No extra syllable was added. There are five syllables each in both the correct, and incorrect answers.

Paul-Cincy on August 5, 2013 at 7:45 PM

A better comparison would be the player who was judged wrong for saying WimbleTON.

Ronnie on August 5, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Oh please, he still wouldn’t have won, are we going to turn Jeopardy into an “everybody gets a participation trophy” game show? *weeps for the future*

clearbluesky on August 5, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Rules are rules unless the contestant looks like this. http://www.artofthemix.org/uploadimages/123354_bigguns.jpg

Seth Halpern on August 5, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Failure is one of the best learning tools out there. Hopefully this kid learns something from it.

iceman1960 on August 5, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Years ago I watched a Jeopardy “Champions” show. The story of one of the contestants was he was a former heroin addict. At a crucial point, he buzzed and answered the question correctly. Alex stared at him. He repeated his answer. But he hadn’t given it in the form of a question. So he missed that answer. He didn’t win. It might have made the difference. That’s how life is.

Paul-Cincy on August 5, 2013 at 7:49 PM

UGH,,,,,,

mind your P’s ands Q’s!!

Me thinks the young man,has gotten Boinked over!!!

canopfor on August 5, 2013 at 7:50 PM

For those who think it should’ve been overlooked: isn’t it possible that misspelling a word in a law could change the meaning of the law?

stukinIL4now on August 5, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Give Skylar Hornbeck a membership at Hot Air. Props to him for running up the score!

22044 on August 5, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Seth Halpern on August 5, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Whew. We all win with that pic.

Bishop on August 5, 2013 at 7:52 PM

If I whined about “being cheated” out of something when I was his age, I’d hate to think what kind of wrath I would have faced coming from my dad.

lowandslow on August 5, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Actually, the kid who won nearly broke the adult record. He smashed the kid record by twenty thousand or so.

joekenha on August 5, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Ah. I thought it was only the child record on jeopardy.

Even more reason The second place kid should stop whining.

portlandon on August 5, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Correct. The kit who finished first racked up something like $85k. He nearly doubled up twice – once with something like $10k in a math category he was killing, and then again in the final.

That said, I don’t believe the Jeopardy rules require perfect spelling except in certain circumstances, so I felt the kid was hosed on the ruling. BUT – there was no damage, AND Jeopardy rules also allow Alex lots of leeway when making a ruling.

peski on August 5, 2013 at 7:55 PM

“I was pretty upset that I was cheated

What an upbringing!

OldEnglish on August 5, 2013 at 7:55 PM

The REAL story is the STONES on the kid who bet another $30,000 when he didn’t have to risk ANYTHING!!!

JasperBallbaggins on August 5, 2013 at 7:57 PM

Sorry Charlie, better luck next time.

AH_C on August 5, 2013 at 7:57 PM

The REAL story is the STONES on the kid who bet another $30,000 when he didn’t have to risk ANYTHING!!!

JasperBallbaggins on August 5, 2013 at 7:57 PM

Agreed.

peski on August 5, 2013 at 7:58 PM

So did this kid get a phone call from Hussein ?

burrata on August 5, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Thomas said this episode cost “Jeopardy!” a fan. It likely has cost the show some adult fans, too.

A sore loser and a whiner (failed the character test as well as his Jeopardy second place bid)…I’m glad he lost…a future Democrat for sure.

AUINSC on August 5, 2013 at 7:58 PM

Cheer up kid. The winner is fat and wears glasses.

hepcat on August 5, 2013 at 7:27 PM

lol

Anti-Control on August 5, 2013 at 7:58 PM

What if it was a black kid? Hmmmm.

wolly4321 on August 5, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Seth Halpern on August 5, 2013 at 7:49 PM

Mama!

OldEnglish on August 5, 2013 at 7:59 PM

What do all y’all expect? Trebek is from Cehnehdehneh.

Christien on August 5, 2013 at 8:00 PM

If we know what a contestant meant even though he spelled it like: Imancepazion Pracluhmayzion, should he still win?

Rachel Jeantel really, really, really wants to know.

Resist We Much on August 5, 2013 at 7:32 PM

Resist We Much:

Gwad,get it together on the spelling eh,its spelled,

EManchpation Proklamaetion,geez!!!!
(snark):O

canopfor on August 5, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Newtown? As in where the shooting was? So now we’re putting gun victims on game shows? Really?

Kaptain Amerika on August 5, 2013 at 8:02 PM

BTW, the girl who answered ” 2nd amendment” to this question,
I hope Sharpton pays for her college……

burrata on August 5, 2013 at 8:04 PM

What if it was a black kid? Hmmmm.

wolly4321 on August 5, 2013 at 7:59 PM

Zimmerman would have rushed the set and shot him.

Ya dumb bigutt.

Bishop on August 5, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Kid’s life will be ruined.(been on every news program and U-tube all day)

This 15 minutes of fame will not be kind.

Barred on August 5, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Poor kid!

I guess it could have been worse for him…?

Miss South Carolina answers a question

Mark Sanchez’s “Butt Fumble”

Anti-Control on August 5, 2013 at 8:05 PM

In Obama’s world, everyone should be a winner.

LizardLips on August 5, 2013 at 8:09 PM

Professor says kids no longer need to learn spelling and grammar because of smartphones

Socratease on August 5, 2013 at 8:02 PM

This kind of stuff makes me weep for our future. So kids no longer need proper grammar for speaking purposes? And of course they’ll never, ever have to write anything down on a piece of paper.

hopeful on August 5, 2013 at 8:10 PM

2+2=5

“But it’s just 1 number off!”

SouthernGent on August 5, 2013 at 8:10 PM

*Miss Teen South Carolina (luckily I wasn’t in some competition!)

Anti-Control on August 5, 2013 at 8:10 PM

See liberals … SPELLING DOES MATTER!

kregg on August 5, 2013 at 8:11 PM

WTF? He’s squawking about $3,000 and second place? I guess if you can’t win, complain about money, then.

ExpressoBold on August 5, 2013 at 8:11 PM

I DID NOT REALIZE THAT “ABRAHAM LINCOLN” IS SPELLED WITH ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. i always thought it was spelt “aBRAHAM lINCOLN.”

Christien on August 5, 2013 at 8:12 PM

BTW, the girl who answered ” 2nd amendment” to this question,
I hope Sharpton pays for her college……

burrata on August 5, 2013 at 8:04 PM

I assumed in the back of her mind she meant to say Lincoln’s “2nd Inaugural Address”, which is so iconic. She just knew “2nd” and picked the wrong document out of her memory. Other iconic Lincoln writings are the Gettysburg address and the Emanciptation Proclamation. A 4th place Lincoln speech doesn’t come to mind. Maybe the Lincoln-Douglas debates, but who remembers a single word from that.

Paul-Cincy on August 5, 2013 at 8:15 PM

It might have been more of an argument had it made a difference in winning. It didn’t. And World Peace, Alex.

TfromV on August 5, 2013 at 8:16 PM

diditagain on August 5, 2013 at 7:38 PM

What he said :)

I watch Jeopardy regularly (record series) and read Alah’s posts religiously (pun intended). Today I find myself having a George Costanza moment: Worlds Colliding!

Onus on August 5, 2013 at 8:17 PM

Note that the winner also badly misspelled “Emancipation” with an extra letter or symbol between the second “n” and the question mark.

SUE LIKE THE WIND!

Christien on August 5, 2013 at 8:18 PM

I have spent about 0 effort following this non story but if they had ruled the answer as correct, doesn’t the kid still finish 2nd and still get the same 2,000?

So where exactly is the injury?

AndrewsDad on August 5, 2013 at 7:34 PM

AndrewsDad got it exactly right. The kid was not cheated at all. He could have been ruled correct and he could have risked his entire pre-final Jeopardy “winnings,” and he STILL would have finished 2nd, and for 2nd you get just $2000 regardless of the amount of your “winnings.”

What we now know is that his PARENTS should have explained this whole thing to him, rather than letting him describe himself as a “cheated” victim.

Ira on August 5, 2013 at 8:19 PM

To quote John Goodman from The Big Lebowski: Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one around here who gives a shit about the rules?

dverplank on August 5, 2013 at 8:21 PM

The fat kid got it wrong as well.

There isn’t a ) in proclamation.

tetriskid on August 5, 2013 at 8:22 PM

Ohhhh, I’m sorry, but you once violated your own show’s rules, Alex. Who is NEXT?

/St. Peter

Christien on August 5, 2013 at 8:22 PM

“I was pretty upset that I was cheated

What an upbringing!

OldEnglish on August 5, 2013 at 7:55 PM

~~~~~~

Yeah, really…I would have felt a little bad for him until he said that…suck it up, kid, ya lost.

ellifint on August 5, 2013 at 8:25 PM

EO overriding the ruling, in the interest of ‘fairness’, from the WH in 3, 2, ….

socalcon on August 5, 2013 at 8:25 PM

Another crybaby goes national. Does he whine like this if he doesn’t win spelling bees and Musical Chairs? Great job the parents are doing of teaching their crumb cruncher that thing called sportsmanship.

Liam on August 5, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Is all the hullabaloo because this kid was from Newtown, CT?

marybel on August 5, 2013 at 8:28 PM

A misspelled word in Final Jeopardy is acceptable if it is phonetically the same as the proper spelling. If a letter is added that changes the sound of the word or if it adds an extra syllable, it is judged as incorrect. It’s always been that way. Misspellings happen all the time in Final Jeopardy. Sometimes the misspellings make a difference and sometimes they don’t. This kid’s misspelling changed the sound of the word and that means his answer was incorrect.

NoNails on August 5, 2013 at 8:29 PM

An adult woman didn’t get credit for having the right answer tonight because she typed Waitin for Godot instead of Waiting for Godot. At least they’re consistent!

Bobbi on August 5, 2013 at 8:30 PM

What is I hope the kid becomes a cop in Trebek’s hometown and busts Alex for each and every violation he commits, each and every day, for the rest of his life?

Christien on August 5, 2013 at 8:32 PM

The kid’s from Newtown, Connecticut, for cripes sake. If he had spoken the answer, they’d have awarded him the money without question. C’mon.

So this is how it works? Something bad happens in your town and you’re suddenly a Privileged Character for life?

I sense that same attitude in New Yorkers all the time, most of whom have no more connection with 9/11 than the rest of us, save for the fact that they happened to live within the city limits when it happened.

My power went out during Sandy. Do I get to milk that?

CurtZHP on August 5, 2013 at 8:33 PM

On behalf of the “c’mon” position: C’mon. C’mon.

“I was pretty upset that I was cheated out of the final `Jeopardy!’ question. It was just a spelling error,” said the Newtown Middle School student, who won $2,000 as the second runner-up.

For that attitude alone the little bastard should be disqualified.

jaime on August 5, 2013 at 8:34 PM

We have raised a nation of whiners.
I’d like to dedicate this song to young Thomas…

annoyinglittletwerp on August 5, 2013 at 8:34 PM

If he had spoken the answer, they’d have awarded him the money without question.

Oh, not if he was little MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, Ezra Klein, or Chris Hayes. Or Ej Dionne.

“I’m sorry, “emanthipathion proclimathion” is not correct.”

Marcus on August 5, 2013 at 8:37 PM

Comment pages: 1 2