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'Jeopardy!' Producers Respond to Boy's Claim That He's Cheated Out of a Win

August 5, 2013, 7:19 am GMT

Twelve-year-old Thomas Hurley says in an interview he's upset that his correct answer was ruled out because of misspelling.



A 12-year-old boy feels cheated by "Jeopardy!". Thomas Hurley was one of the contestants in an episode taped in February and aired last week. In the final round, he and the other two players were asked to write down the name of the 1863 document Abraham Lincoln said was a "fit and necessary war measure."

Hurley made the right guess, Emancipation Proclamation, but he wrote the first word "emanciptation." Host Alex Trebek said the judges ruled against it and the boy lost $3,000 he'd wagered.

In a new interview published by the News-Times of Danbury, Conn., the eighth grader opened up, "I was pretty upset that I was cheated out of the final 'Jeopardy!' question. It was just a spelling error." He went on sharing, "It's just upsetting to have lost that way. I don't know why it would have counted as the wrong answer."

His mother, Suzanne, said that her son was "a little stunned" by the loss. "He felt embarrassed," she added. "It was hard to watch." Hurley, who was a runner-up on the competition, walked home with $2,000.

Defending their decision, "Jeopardy!" producers said in an e-mail, "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."



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