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Conn. boy: I was cheated over 'Jeopardy!' spelling

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 04:44 p.m. HST, Aug 04, 2013

NEWTOWN, Conn. >> A Connecticut eighth-grader who misspelled the correct answer to a "Jeopardy!" question and lost money over it says he was cheated.

Thomas Hurley III correctly answered the Final Jeopardy question about the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln. But Thomas spelled it "emanciptation" and was ruled out by host Alex Trebek.

He bet $3,000 of his $9,600 in winnings and finished well behind a rival who amassed $66,600.

"I was pretty upset that I was cheated out of the final 'Jeopardy!' question," he to (http://bit.ly/13KTg7D). "It was just a spelling error."

The Newtown Middle School student won $2,000 as the runner-up.

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."

Hurley's mother, Suzanne, said her son was "a little stunned" by the loss.

"He felt embarrassed," she said. "It was hard to watch."

Hundreds vented their anger at "Jeopardy!" and Trebek on the game show's Facebook page.

"Bad form, Jeopardy," said one comment. "Every game show has bad calls ... this takes the cake."

The Kids Jeopardy! program was filmed in February and broadcast last week.

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bumbye wrote:
Does spelling count? Yes! Incorrect spelling = incorrect word
on August 4,2013 | 04:51PM
RetiredWorking wrote:
agree, bumbye. Get over it, complainers. Rules have to be followed.
on August 4,2013 | 05:08PM
Kate53 wrote:
But, but, but, I'm SPECIAL so rules don't apply to me! (sarcasm)
on August 5,2013 | 03:27AM
localguy wrote:
Another dysfunctional person who feels they never do anything wrong, nothing is their fault. Thomas Hurley III just got a taste of the real world, must have been a shock to such a sheltered boy. Deal with it Thomas, you failed to meet the standard, accept responsibility for your failure and learn from it. Might want to listen to the song, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"
on August 4,2013 | 06:00PM
AmbienDaze wrote:
the one by kanye? kim didn't kill him, but she made him stupider.
on August 5,2013 | 04:52AM
Skyler wrote:
Oh, the Age of VIctimhood. They do start rather early now, don't they? You lost. Get over it.
on August 4,2013 | 06:24PM
Macoy wrote:
According to the Jeopardy rules, spelling does not count, unless it changes the pronunciation of the word. In this case emanciptation would not be pronounced the same as emancipation, so the ruling was correct. The kid in first place had 66,000 so it didn't really matter what he wrote he wasn't going to win
on August 4,2013 | 06:36PM
68Crusader wrote:
Nothing like being on national TV, and losing in two categories: wrong answer and then wrong attitude. You must make your parents prowd that you represent Konneticutt.
on August 4,2013 | 07:02PM
onevoice82 wrote:
LMO 68Crusader!
on August 5,2013 | 05:29AM
bullturd wrote:
Ask Old Mac Donald about spelling. Slow news day, Facebook cry babies. Boo-Hoo-Hoo!
on August 4,2013 | 07:11PM
Kahaluuman wrote:
Poor loser.
on August 4,2013 | 07:18PM
Kuniarr wrote:
Typical rationale of today's youth: I was correct except I spelled wrong.
on August 4,2013 | 07:23PM
lisapoet wrote:
He's an 8th grader and the Civil War is covered in the 8th grade. He should have known how to spell emancipation. TH3 needs to cry a river, build a bridge, and GET OVER IT.
on August 4,2013 | 07:30PM
Smiling wrote:
Get over it, kid....and parents! Sheesh..people are dying from cancer...there are a heck of a lot more serious problems to deal with than this!! learn to spell. I taught American History in 8th grade for eons........every kid should know how to spell emancipation!! Lincoln is rolling over in his grave at this!!
on August 4,2013 | 08:07PM
kimo96745 wrote:
Lincoln is rolling over in his grave about a lot of things in the last several years. Aloha from kimo96745
on August 4,2013 | 09:20PM
kailua000 wrote:
if you are smart enough to get on Jeopardy ...and you have to be pretty darn smart ..your spelling should be up to par as well.
on August 5,2013 | 02:53AM
redneckMT wrote:
Stupid boy.....and even dumber mother.
on August 5,2013 | 04:53AM
ryan02 wrote:
HOW exactly was this whiny little brat "cheated" out of money? He had a measly $9,600 compared to the winner's whopping $66,600 -- so he wasn't going to win no matter what! And the article said we won $2,000 for finishing as "runner-up" which means he didn't drop down to third place either (and that's assuming he meant Jeopardy "cheated" him out of second place). So what, exactly, was he "cheated" out of? His pride? HE'S the one who mispelled a word, not Jeopardy. He needs to look in a mirror to see who caused his "embarrassment" and the mother is blaming the wrong party. Can you imagine what a pain in the behind this whiny, self-entitled brat will be in the real world? Sounds like the mother is raising him that way.
on August 5,2013 | 08:02AM
ready2go wrote:
Perhaps Jeopardy should not allow "minors" to participate on this program since it gives "monetary awards" as prizes. This brings out the worse in their parents.
on August 5,2013 | 08:04AM
honopic wrote:
Apparently, Hurley isn't much better at math than at spelling. Even if Jeopardy producers accepted the misspelled answer, he would have finished with $12,600 and stll ended up in second place, which was worth $2,000 no matter what. "Just" a spelling error? If he had spelled "America" with a K instead of a C, he would find out in a hurry how important correct spelling is.
on August 5,2013 | 08:19AM
ryan02 wrote:
The winner was a 12-year old kid named SKYLER HORNBACK from Kentucky. His $66,600 was the most ever won on Kids' Week. Congratulations to the winner, and a sore loser shouldn't take way his thunder.
on August 5,2013 | 09:17AM
ryan02 wrote:
The winner was a 12-year old kid named SKYLER HORNBACK from Kentucky. His $66,600 was the most ever won on Jeopardy's Kids Week. Congratulations to the winner, and don't let a sore loser overshadow the winner.
on August 5,2013 | 09:18AM
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