Jeopardy! Spelling Error Leads To Kids Week Controversy

A Jeopardy! spelling error has led to a Kids Week controversy. Thomas Hurley III, of Newtown, Connecticut, came in second place and lost $3000 due to a spelling error. Hurley now feels he was cheated.

As reported by USA Today, the final Jeopardy! question was about the Emancipation Proclamation. Hurley knew the answer to the question. Unfortunately, when he wrote it down, he spelled it “Emanciptaion.” Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek announced that Hurley’s answer was correct. However, he was disqualified due to the spelling error.

Hurley explained that he was “upset that [he] was cheated out of the final Jeopardy! question”, due to a simple error in spelling. Suzanne, Hurley’s mother, said that she was stunned and embarrassed for her son. she said the entire scene was “difficult to watch.”

The Jeopardy! spelling error may seem like a small mistake. However, officials explain their reasoning:

“If Jeopardy! were to give credit for an incorrect response… 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.”

As reported by News Times, the incident has drawn stark criticism against Trebeck, and the show. Although it was filmed in February, the episode was broadcast last week.

Trebeck’s response to Hurley’s answer “that’s unfortunate,” was deemed insensitive and unfair by viewers.

Despite the controversy, Hurley has been a good sport about the incident. He did bring home $2,000 for his second place win. Hurley plans to save the money for college.

Hurley is proud that he was chosen to appear on Jeopardy! during Kids Week, and he enjoyed the trip to California. He explains that his friends and family have been supportive of appearance on the show.

The Jeopardy! spelling error has upset Hurley, his family, and numerous viewers. However, Trebeck and the judges contend that they cannot make an exception to the rules.

[Image via Flickr]