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Connecticut Boy Upset To Lose Final Jeopardy Over Spelling Error

A Connecticut eighth-grader is upset that his Final Jeopardy answer was shoved aside by host Alex Trebek because of a spelling error.

Thomas Hurley III, who was up against a competitor with $36,600 in winnings compared to his $9,600, correctly answered the 'Famous Documents' question about the 1863 document Abraham Lincoln said was a "fit and necessary war measure."

But the 12-year-old spelled the Emancipation Proclamation as "emanciptation" and was ruled out by host Alex Trebek.

Trebek said Hurley "badly misspelled" the word it would cost him the $3,000 he bet on it. He then praised winner Skyler Hornback, who he noted spelled emancipation correctly.

"I was pretty upset that I was cheated out of the final 'Jeopardy!' question," the Newtown Middle School student tells the News-Times of Danbury. "It was just a spelling error."

"It's just upsetting to have lost that way. I don't know why it would have counted as the wrong answer."

"It's generated a little bit of controversy," adds his mother, Suzanne. "He was a little stunned by it. He felt embarrassed. It was hard to watch."

'Jeopardy!' is defending Trebek's decision.

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

August 5, 2013 |

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