Boy loses Jeopardy on simple spelling mistake

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

T-h-o-m-a-s H-u-r-l-e-y. Thomas Hurley. That’s the name of the 8th grader that was sent home from Final Jeopardy! on a small spelling mistake. The misspelled word was ‘emancipation,’ and cost 12-year-old Thomas the game when he, instead, wrote ‘emanciptation.’

The quiz show, Jeopardy, covers a variety of topics such as history, academics, and wordplay. The contestants are then presented with clues in the form of answers, and must phrase their responses in question format.

Jeopardy’s host Alex Trebek explained to viewers that it was the judges that stated the answer as incorrect. After his loss, Thomas Hurley III told his local newspaper: “I was pretty upset that I was cheated out of the final `Jeopardy!’ question. It was just a spelling error.”

Jeopardy’s producers released a statement in response to the backlash from both Hurley’s family, and Internet users, “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.”

I know it’s a little sad to see young kids crying, especially after a loss like this, but I’m going to have to side with Jeopardy! At least now, Thomas Hurley will think twice before turning in his spelling tests.