Alex Trebek Nearly Brings Eighth Grader to Tears

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Last week, during Kids Week on “Jeopardy!”, Alex Trebek almost caused an eighth grader to break down in tears after he misspelled “Emancipation Proclamation” during the Final Jeopardy round.

Eighth grader from Newtown, Connecticut, Thomas Hurley III, says he was cheated out of $3,000 after he misspelled the word “Emancipation”. The question that was given to Hurley was, “Abraham Lincoln called this document, which took effect in 1863, ‘a fit and necessary war measure.’” He answered correctly, but included an extra “t” in the word, spelling it “emanciptation”.

Hurley bet $3,000 of his $9,600 winnings, and although he was far from winning the game show, he is still upset and feels that he was cheated out of the money. “I was pretty upset that I was cheated out of the final Jeopardy! question,” he told The News-Times of Danbury. “It was just a spelling error.” Hurley took home $2,000 for placing second.

Hurley’s father isn’t happy about the situation either. “The thing that bothered me most was the way Alex Trebek and the producers treated my son. They were kind of smug,” his father, Thomas Hurley II, told CNN on Sunday night. “It’s a kid’s tournament! Everyone knew what he meant.” His mother also commented on the embarrassment that her son experienced saying, “He felt embarrassed. It was hard to watch.”

“Jeopardy!” producers are standing by their decision. “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.”

Social media sites are buzzing with comments, some criticizing Trebek, while other loyal viewers are supporting his decision.

Alex Trebek Nearly Brings Eighth Grader to Tears
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  • http://modzillafoxfire Stan Flax

    Too bad kid!!!!!!!!!!! To say that misspelling is ok is like saying that any mistake is ok. Trebek and the judges were absolutely right!!! This kid is probably treated by his parents as an angel with a halo glowing from the head and can never be wrong. After all, look at his name: The Third!!! How dare commoners such as Alex and the judges treat royalty–Thomas Hurley III–like a common peasant!!!

    Get over it kid–you misspelled the word. Do you expect to be rewarded for making mistakes???????? If this is what our future is going to look like, God help us all!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ed Beatty

      The kid got the same money he would have received if he got the spelling right or not. He finished second and got $2,000. Why is the press making a big deal out of this.

    • dorkmeyer

      I response to your concern about “what our future is going to look like”—well, call me a misguided fool, but I still have faith that, despite our species’ various efforts to overcome it, evolution will continue to punish behavioral mistakes. (That said, I have to agree with several other posters: Alex Trebek does tend to come across as being rather smug—and smugness does come rather easily when one’s been given the answers in advance.)

  • Brad

    Good for Alex. I’m tired of this entitlement age where these kids think that a good effort deserves a 1st place trophy. He spelled it wrong, so he got it wrong. It’s that simple! Guess what, I bet he doesn’t spell it wrong again. End of story!

    • Connery

      I think you forgot to say “Get off of my lawn! Well, back in my day …”

  • Jon Lazar

    I guess we are in a time where ” EVERYONE WINS ” …. Everyone gets a trophy ! We grew up learning to to be good winners and good losers… we did not always get the prize, but we were forced to work harder to achieve that special moment… It was not given to us… Things sure have changed.. You certainly cannot blame TREBEK, heck, he makes adults cry on that game show … lol …….. We need more Sean Connery’s on that game show ! ” That’s not what your Mother said ” like on SNL …. lol

    • scott

      I agree. This is the reason America is rapidly declining behind other countries. There is no strive to be the best anymore. Give a mediocre attempt and it will be just fine. Let’s keep telling todays youth to not do their best. Phone it in and we will all be fine when we get taken over by another country with dictators so we can just be told what to do. Thinking and free will is overrated. If anyone is unaware that is called sarcasm, look it up or just shout it in your phone and hope for the best!

      • erin siler

        mediocracy will=communism

        • Red Rocket

          based on what science or facts did u come to this conclusion???

          or do u even know what communism really is

  • joe

    “emanciptation”…so, that’s how you spell emancipation?.

  • http://yahoo mary bradley

    the boy spelled it wrong so alex was right in his decision.if he were in a spelling contest spelling woud count so why not in jeopardy.$2,000 is still a pretty good payday for a kid.thats more than a grown person makes at a regular job. so quit crying and be glad you got anything.

  • heiresschild

    i thought Jeopardy does not deduct points for incorrect spelling in Final Jeopardy–least that’s how it’s been. so why deduct from the 8th grader? are the rules different for children?

  • http://att.net Christina

    I feel it was wrong to punish him for misspelling the word. Others have misspelled the word but Alex knew what the answer was meant to be and gave credit for it. So what that a young man(kid) misspelled the word; the answer was RIGHT!!!!!!! He should have received correct credit for it. If it was completely way off and the correct answer was not correct to the naked eye; then and only then; can I see Jeopardy taking his answered as wrong. They read it right but said it was not spelled right so they (Jeopardy) knew it was correct. They should compensate him correctly. The embarrassment the young man went through on public television around the world is more then one should take……. Especially when he was right. Whats an extra letter when you can read the correct answer???????? Jeopardy owes him his money or another shot on the show(if he wants to)….. I would take the correct money that is deserved!!!!!!!!!

    • Mary

      I agree with Christina. I thought spelling does not count on Final Jeopardy. Did they change that rule? I agree that spelling is important, but what is the rule on this?

      • CW

        His spelling error changed the pronunciation, therefore, it was wrong. Stop vilifying a game show host. All you detractors are ridiculous.

    • K.I.P.

      Punish ? He didn’t create the rules. As moderator of Jeopardy, he applies them when necessary. As he did in this case…

    • Curmudgeon

      If young Mr. Hurley had spelled emancipation correctly, written out the complete text of the document, and sang all the verses of the Battle Hymn of the Republic in perfect pitch he still comes in second and still gets $2000.00 for his second place finish. Period.

  • Crystal

    what kills me about this is that adults on Jeopardy often misspell or write so illegibly that they have to verbalize their answers to Trebek and he lets them slide. So how can an adult win $ on Jeopardy with an illegible answer but a kid cannot because he left out a vowel. Seriously??? Shame on Jeopardy. A monkey could host the show for all the good Trebek does.

  • Toad

    I can’t remember the number of times Trebek has supplied half an answer for someone. Then give someone an okay on a question he couldn’t even read (sloppiness) and I could go on. He’s a jerk-off to a kid. He so effen smart, why not let him play the computer? He’d score 0, zero, nothing, nada, goose egg……………..

    • Brenda Wofford

      The show has nothing to do with the measurement of Trebeck’s intelligence. He serves as the host, who compares answers with those of Jeopardy’s staff. His every move must fall within the bounds and jurisdiction given him. He makes no determination on his own. I’ve been watching the show, probably more years than some of you were born and have also suffered painful blows with the contestant that I was pulling for made some “stupid” error, which eliminated him as the winner. I’m sure he, too, feels some disappointments for what he has to do. But it has nothing to do with his abilities, other than to perform mandated material In this case of the upset of the 8th grader, he has no one to blame but himself for losing that amount of money. The “bet” was up to him, and he chose the $3,000, obviously very confident in his spelling. He is responsible for all of it, so if he is driven to “tears”, I’m surprised that he would point the finger toward anyone else. A lesson to remember…he could have lost $1.00..if..he were not trying to play catch-up or just plain greedy. Since the article mentions the fact that the mother is upset over the incident. So I think we can see where he gets the instillment of his “habits”. Show him the way, while he is still young, or he will loose a lot more, in the future.

    • http://webpronewews Dqavid B….

      Hey Toad…Go back to your log….It’s NOT Trebek that makes the calls…Its the researchers and if the spelling isn’t up to spec…They call it out…
      Simple as that…I get the rules and why I am not on Jeopardy…
      If your so good why not try out?
      Oh I get it…
      Back to work at Subway then…

      • Tom Sigmon

        Alex Trebek Has done 2 show for Jeopardy and he was Tough in those show to get use to it he not retire any time soon

  • Carol C.

    He should have been given credit for the correct answer, even with the spelling error. But it did not effect the outcome of the game. He still went home with the second place money of $2,000 ~ whether the answer was spelled correctly or not. There was no way to catch the first place winner that day. Sorry but life isn’t always fair and he has a long life ahead of him. . . .

  • Frank Schilling

    If memory serves, I think they have allowed misspellings as correct answers in the past. Worst thing to me was Trebek’s adding insult to injury by saying Hurley “badly” misspelled emancipation; thought that comment could have gone unsaid.

    • http://webpronewews Dqavid B….

      Frank…Have you been watching for very long?
      Reason asked is that I have been watching for literally DECADES and have seen many contestants penalized for incorrect/blurred spelling in final….So…You are in error…
      There is NO WAY Trebek or the researchers would let that slide in final Jeopardy and to take up arms is a futle exercise and also just bad form….
      DO NOT fan the fires of a useless fire….

      • Frank Schilling

        I’ll try not to fan any flames; lo siento mucho, mea culpa, excuse me for living.

  • Liz

    I thought it was interesting that Alex didn’t let the kid have the answer, but he also isn’t the one doing the “judging”. They have “refs” for these sorts of things and when an adult on regular Jeopardy misspells something, they don’t let that slide either. I did not think that Alex was being smug at all and I felt bad for the kid because he misspelled it, but the fact that the kid feels “cheated” out of the money when he wasn’t even going to get it is kind of ridiculous. The child next to him had $36,600 going into it compared to the $9,600. You were going to be second or third anyway. Nothing to be “cheated out of”. Alex Trebek is a fine host and the people at Jeopardy! are fair scorers.

  • Allison

    I think you have to be correct if you want to win the game! How would it have been fair to the other players if a wrong spelling was accepted?

    • Les1963

      I agree with you totally. It sounds like this kid might have some
      issues dealing with feeling entitled. I am sure it would be awkward to misspell a word on national TV, but the kid just needs to suck it up and quit whining.

  • Robert Le H.

    I wish he would just give it up! Jeopardy is not making new rules, these rules are there for a reason! He spelled the word incorrectly and now because things did not go his way he is trying to use social media to get his way! READ THE RULES! That’s it.

    • Leigh

      THANK YOU!!! Robert Le H. They are so using the power of technology to attempt to make a case FOR their son’s mistake.

  • http://Firefox Ray

    Cheated??? That whining kid feels cheated because he misspelled a word? Cheating would be letting him get by with an incorrect answer. He needs to suck it up and move on, and his parents should be teaching that wrong is wrong.

  • Dom

    Alex Trebek is a condescending jerk and should be replaced. I stopped watching Jeopardy many years ago for this exact reason.

    • http://webpronewews Dqavid B….

      WTG Don your a dooshbag….

    • William Thomas

      I wont let that show be turned on in my home because of Alex attitude and condemning remarks. Face it he is a fake.

  • Jim Chandler

    For all you douchebags giving Trebec grief for the kid making an error and being called out, consider this, Trebec doesn’t make the call, the judges sitting just offstage in front of the audience do. The kid screwed up, got it wrong, still took second place (which was all he was going to get anyway)and is nothing but a whiner. Our younger generations are learning that everybody is a winner, whether they are or not, and they can’t deal with losing. Get over it, kid, and the rest of you. Losers. None of you, most likely, have ever even auditioned for Jeopardy, much less been selected to go on the show.

    • http://webpronewews Dqavid B….

      @ Jim…I have been wathcing Jeopary for literlly YEARS and if there is a misspelling in final they get penalized…
      It’s all these PC zombies that are calling out Trebek andn Jeopardy for maintaing the purity of the show…
      They can all go ‘eff themselves…
      For they CLEARLY never achieved higher education…


  • Sue

    I have seen many times, in final Jeopardy, where answers were misspelled or scribbled so badly that it was hard to read and they were given credit anyway!

  • rich

    either learn to not fold under pressure, or just flat out learn how to spell.

  • rich

    oh yeah, lets run with the headline alex nearly brings tears to an eighth grader. how about the other kids,college students, adults in the past who have also have had to endure alex telling them THEY WERE WRONG!!!!!! stop this already. the game has been around for years, the rules are the rules….. why is it that all of a sudden someone answered wrong it is personal. this is just ridiculous

  • http://Yahoo.com Robert

    The whiners come out of the woodwork – you know what is a good life lesson?
    Sometimes you lose… and you hold your head up and try again.

  • John

    I have met Alex Trebek twice. He was very courteous and professional with both my son and me, actually being attentive to our needs. One time we were in Canada when we met him. He was treated like a god there both by governmental officials and officers of National Geographic. Considering the way he is treated by others, as a man of immense accomplishment and talents; he wears his fame and fortune with appropriate dignity, in person. This dignity is what is skewered in the Sean Connery/SNL skits

  • Nancy Abram

    Of course the young boy was embarrassed, This is normal and natural. Sad part is the rules were about correct spelling. Difficult part is in today’s schools spelling and penmanship have not the priority these subjects used to have. I feel the parents need to observe this rule to assist their son. Why the fight? He, the young boy, should be proud he earned second place. Are we not embarrasing him more by turning this into an arguement? Why are we, the public, not proud of these young contestants on the show? How can we judge by hearsay? Why are we not proud of the accomplishments of this long lasting show and of the young contestants? I look to the parents to help him understand the whole picture. He should not be complaining. His parents should hug him, love him, and not blame the rules. Afterall, when he is 16, and is driving, would you want him to run a red light? Of course not! That is because his parents love him, and they will help him understand what rules are. Remember, there are consequences for our choices. Let him know he should not be embarrassed as he did his best. Let him learn from this with your guidance. Your son did a great job….and he taught and retaught the world…to follow rules! That is a gift in itself!

    • Leigh

      @Nancy Abram…I love your comment!!! What you said is so true about the matter. The focus should be on the fact that he did not properly spell the word, and it is the context of the rules. I also feel these parents are trying to get public sentiment in order to get money or some other compensation from Jeopardy!

      In closing, parents need to always affirm their children as you pointed out Ms. Abram; however, they also need to reinforce what is being taught at school, e.g. repeat time tables, do spelling words, work on grammar, do sentence diagramming, work on Algebra, etc. I wonder do the Hurley’s visit the school and share their concerns if their child makes a bad grade. If so,do they try to figure out why or simply attribute the bad grade to the teacher being smug?

  • http://webnews Dani Palmer

    I have read the comments, saw the clip..rules are rules,,,however Trebek was rather a ‘mean boy’ in the manner in which he dealt with the young man.
    Today(Aug 5, 2013) west coast- I watched Jeopardy and noted that the contestant who won the final question did NOT use the phrase:”What IS”–he had left the ‘IS’ out of the phrase!! He still won…what is the difference between the two situations???? One of the other contestants left off a ‘g’ in her answer–she lost….can Jeopardy get on the same page for ALL contestants????

  • Jim

    Alex is nothing more than a child molester, as was his boss Merv Griffin. That entire show, Jeopardy is a low brow sitcom, watched only by losers of the lowest degree

    • http://webpronewews Dqavid B….


      Not enough cows in the south to sodomize? So you have to take on Jeopardy?

      Your ignorance speaks volumes…..

    • carl

      my wife and I have watched the show for years. I can realize how the boy felt. but to put alex down for going by the rules is wrong. some of the names alex is worse then what happened on the show. those people are the low lifes.

  • Diane Hanson

    I have seen lots of misspellings on there lots of times and he let them away with it and accepted their answer just the same. The kid should have won regardless of his spelling. After all, he is a kid.

    • http://webpronewews Dqavid B….


      ALL MISSPELLINGS get called out…
      Your a PC dumbass Diane….
      I’ve been a jeopardy watcher for DECADES and ALL misspellings are penalized…
      God what a self righteous plunker….
      Please go get your GED and learn something….

    • http://yahoo chas

      No way!! He should have won because he is a kid??? That attitude is what is making our youth these days think they sould get anything they want. He was WRONG. End of story!

  • lisa

    I think trebek was outta line treating the boy that way. there have been others who have misspelled and got away with it. I think ALEX is getting old and needs to retire. I think hes heartless and think the jeopardy show itself should sue just for the purpose of fairness.

    • Leigh

      @Lisa, You have mitigating gall to critique Mr. Trebek; however, I have counted at least 6, count them 6, grammatical errors in your posting alone!!! Please either go back to the 8th grade, or have a dictionary and a grammar book near you when you type future postings.

      • Michele

        Way to go Leigh. You are absolutely right!

      • LEORA

        8-6-13 11:04 A.M.

    • Lorraine M. Daniel

      News flash!! Check the credits. Alex Trebek is an Executive Producer of the Show, which means, for all intents and purposes, he “owns” the show.

    • http://Yahoo Terence B. Garber

      You should let Alex do his job and what is good for one is good for all. We can all make misstakes.I am definitely not perfect and make misstake.

  • http://yahoo t

    stick to your colonial penn insurance ads, mr. trebek. you just retired yourself from jeopardy. shame on you.

    • http://webpronewews Dqavid B….

      Ugh…Go back to your second shift duty at McDonalds you impish fool…

  • Vicki Walker

    I agree with some others and think incorrect spelling or indecipherable handwriting have been let go in the past. At the very least, since these are kids, remind them to watch their spelling. And it’s true that these days spelling is not taught as we older folks had to learn it. We were discouraged to use the spelling books, which explained spelling and word meaning, but also had exercises requiring critical thinking skills. Too bad. Maybe the boy is whining, but I didn’t see the program.

  • de de kavanaugh

    I love the show, & they were right about the spelling.Everyone wants to win, but thats life..the boy might as well learn that now..gotta stick to the rules !

  • http://sportanding.com Adam

    I found evidence of Jeopardy’s Double Standard…They gave someone a correct answer even though he had a wrong word in it. But they decided to take a stand because a 12 year old had one extra letter in his answer? Doesn’t make sense…take a look at the evidence here.


  • Kaytee

    I feel bad for Hurley, however, if this had been a Spelling Bee instead of Jeopardy, his answer would not have been accepted. Maybe less texting would help kids understand the importance of good old spelling. Sadly, texting is quickly elimination the art of spelling. Hurley should accept his fate and get back on jeopardy in a future Teen Tournament. I am disappointed that this “child” has this reaction and that he matures to the point where he too will see why his answer was not acceptable. Good Luck young man. P.S. I would not expect a father or mother to have the reaction it appears his father did and teach him the importance of just “checking his work” perhaps instead of leading his son to believe his error was not an error.

    • jen

      Texting isn’t the problem, because I know forty and fifty year olds with worse text-type habits than most kids and teenagers. And seriously, if you had been humiliated on public television, wouldn’t you have the same reaction? He’s a freakin’ KID. You also have no right to be calling out the parents on this either.

      • foxglove

        He didn’t humiliate the kid. He just said that the answer was not correct. When the other contestant got it right, he simply mentioned that it was correct, and spelled correctly, too. Why should that humiliate anyone? For God’s sake, people, own your damned mistakes and stop whining.

  • http://webpronewews Dqavid B….

    HE SPELLED IT WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I have seen COUNTLESS Jeopardys where the contestant was Penalized for that….
    Welcome to the world kid…
    It only gets harder….
    Good Job Alex….

  • Ersten

    The rules for Final Jeopardy (I have been a fan since the Art Flemming days of the ’60s) seem to have been overlooked. Spelling is not the issue. Contestants have won on wrong spellings AS LONG AS THE PRONUNCIATION IS NOT AFFECTED. As an example, if the correct response was “Stephen King”, but the contestant wrote “Steven King” he would have been deemed to have given a correct response, because the pronunciation is the same. Alex Trebek has occasionally made this comment when such a situation occurred. The kid’s response gives an incorrect pronunciation which is why his response was ruled invalid. It is unfortunate that he misspelled that word, but rules are rules, and all contestants must abide by them, regardless of the compassion this loss may have generated among viewers.

  • Sandra Stern


  • Roberto

    For those who don’t know, second place winner in Jeopardy only gets $2000, regardless of what they had racked up. This kid lost nothing because he was in second; he was too far behind to ever catch up even if he had spelled correctly. The saddest part of this is the parents. Spelling counts. Period. Enabling your child because he is upset that he “lost” is why we have so many illiterates in the country. Life is tough sometimes. Teach your children well, let them lose and learn from it and stop coddling them.

  • hkinsey3

    Ok all you folks….what part of “spelling counts” do you not understand? What if by getting credit for the misspelled word he had won instead of the other guy? Would that be fair? You can’t have it both ways…rules count or they don’t…just like rules against illegal immigation….ok bad example, but you know what I mean.

  • david

    huh? what are we missing? he would have still finished second place.

    • Karin Browne

      Not even that !

  • Marvin

    I’m so sick of the entire country whining about their childrens feelings being hurt because someone points out they made a mistake. For christ’s sake let your children be humbled once in a while. They will only be better because of it. Alex knows this. if your child can’t spell something or play a certain sport well it,s not Alex’s fault or the teachers fault, or the coaches fault, it’s YOU as a parent’s fault for not spending time with your children to teach and better them. Not teach them to expect everything for nothing. My God Wake Up People!!!! The entire country is going to pot because everyone thinks half-a..ed is good enough.

  • Arlene

    I was a contestant on Jeopardy some years ago and we knew the rules.
    Spelling is part of the answer and the judges have the right to their decision. It isn’t up to the host. I’m sorry this young man and his parents can’t accept responsibility….they should be embarrassed that they have made a todo over a non issue.

    • Lorraine M. Daniel

      This is right on target. The rules are there for EVERYONE to follow. The real story here is how the kid, and his parents, responded to the defeat. Something tells me this kid has acted liked this all his life, and his parents have allowed and enabled him to do so, which does not bode well for his future as an adult. If you cannot handle a defeat as a gracious loser, then do not participate.

  • jen

    This is complete bullshit. The kid added an extra “T” into the word. He’s in eighth grade for god’s sakes. I’ve seen full-grown adults with worse spelling than that. I think they still should have given it to him.

    • travelsmart

      IT didn’t matter, he could not win even if he had the right answer(he was too far behind) and he wasn’t going to get 2nd place either. He is a classic whiner/weiner.

    • david

      he wouldn’t have won any more money, so what’s the point.

    • david

      so it’s OK to reward someone for not following the rules of the game? i can drive down the left side of the road because i’m english in the US?

    • david

      I thought I answered this one. Rules are rules. Do we forgive someone who drives on the left side, in their country because they forgot in our country?

      • Jill

        Ummmmm, not when it’s a competition………….

    • Jackie

      You see grown adults spelling the way they do because they skate through life without people caring enough to correct and teach them. Which is what this kid would be facing if he gets credit where credit isn’t due. It’s a lesson learned. I bet he’ll never spell that word wrong again in his life!!

      • leenie

        An executive director I know “inherited” from a previous supervisor a secretary who couldn’t spell squat. After repeated attempts to correct her, the director just began handing back the paper without saying anything. It only took a few redos to get the point across that the secretary represented the director and that misspelling and typos were unacceptable. The director got perfectly spelled words and the secretary eventually retired with better spelling skills.

    • http://yahoo deb

      I bet if you go back there were adults than won. They did not spell correctly. He enjoyed telling this child, he misspelled the word. Jerk, I stopped watching anyway.

      • foxglove

        I enjoy telling kids when they misspell things, too. I guess I’m just a big jerk. Or maybe… I actually CARE about them and want them to have the best life they can. Which means they should spell correctly and use proper grammar.

    • david


    • ron

      so do we let kids who are in eight grade get away with murder or are they to have different rules? Just asking

  • Greg

    He is and always will be a know it all…even if he doesn’t! He is not a people person and should not be a host! A jerk is a jerk, I don’t understand why he is popular.

    • ron

      why do you keep watching if you do not like him

    • foxglove

      People say the same thing about Simon Cowell. I think it has to do with the fact that both men are very intelligent and make you feel dumb. The fact is, Greg, that you don’t know Alex Trebek at all – have you ever met him? Has he treated you, or someone you know, poorly? You’re making pronouncements based on zero actual information – it’s just your perception of him from what you see of him on television.

      PS – I happen to like and admire both Simon Cowell and Alex Trebek.

  • http://newbizshop.com Derek

    Don’t get soft because kids on the show. Rules are rules and you don’t bend them for a 5th grader. If you do, you bend them for any age group and then the show would be useless.

    Learn to spell kid. The kid should be happy he made it onto the show. Lot’s of other kids didn’t make it.

    • Greg

      They went soft on the questions, why not go soft on the kids???

      • Red Rocket

        Because if the questions werent easier the kids would have horrible scores. Nobody wants to see people not even go to final round cus they are in the negative

      • foxglove

        The questions are basically age-appropriate. It isn’t fair to expect children age 12 to have the same level of education as an adult. It IS, however, fair to expect them to spell correctly once they have learned about something. The Emancipation Proclamation is one of the most important documents in our country’s history, and every child should know how to spell it correctly by age 12. We set the bar far too low for our kids – they are capable of much more. And speaking of which, that kid’s dad should be teaching his child how to cope with disappointment and make sure he never allows a stupid spelling error to rob him of anything again, rather than whining that “it was just a spelling error,” and behaving as if Trebek lambasted him on live TV. I’m so tired of these little “darlings” and their precious, fragile egos – learn to cope, kids. Life’s tough.

  • erin siler

    I remember watching this episode last week and I felt bad for the kid, Alex Trebek did NOT “make him cry.” If the kid wanted to be on an adult gameshow, then he needed to be mature enough and be willing enough to handle the rules and stipulations; this was the rule and he spelled it wrong. Period. Afterwards, he acted SO immature and crossed his arms and refused to look at Alex or the other players in the end. He embarrassed himself on national TV by the way he acted afterwards-like an 8 month old, not an 8th grader bound for High School. I’m disappointed his parents are now pulling the “unfair” card. They should’ve told him to stop pouting and be grateful for the $2,000 he took home anyways. Everyone knows he’s smart enough to have gotten the answer right but he wouldn’t have won anyways. I wish people would start congratulating the kid more instead of showing him how much public attention he can get for throwing a tantrum on national television.

  • http://yahoo deb

    who cares>Dont watch it !

    • foxglove

      Then don’t comment. What a douche.

  • Denver

    The student was far from winning the game. Even if he was awarded the correct answer, he would have still ended up in second place winning … wait for it … $2000. He wasn’t cheated out of any money.

    Having said that, it was a minor spelling error. I have seen celebrity Jeopardy contestants get away with “Niagra [sic] Falls”. It is customary in final jeopardy to NOT penalize over spelling errors unless the spelling is a crucial element in the question.

    Further, I don’t think Alex Trebeck is solely responsible for this. It is the judges who make these decisions.

  • Tom Sigmon

    Classic Concentration
    Host Battlestars
    Host Pitfall
    host Double Dare
    Host High Rollers
    Host (1974-76/1978-80) The Wizard of Odds
    Host To Tell the Truth (1990)
    Host (Feb-May 1991) his other show he did he dont make rules he just did what was right

  • http://yahoo Cathy

    Rules are rules. They have to be applied to everyone. What kind of show would it be if they bent the rules every time? I sure wouldn’t want to watch it. Adults or children abide by the rules (no exceptions) It is a contest.

  • Ryan

    If the kid was in a spelling bee that the judges would have let it slide? Heck no! I spelled that same word in my school’s sixth grade spelling bee and got it right for the championship. And there are kids the same age and younger who can spell a lot tougher words than that. Quit being a sore loser you little whiner.

    • ron

      if this is the rule for adults and the game show then it needs to apply to all who particapate. Fair is fair get over it. Your son was treated as every other person would have been treated. I to would not have spelled it right and I am sure that I would feel embarassed and ect….. Part of life. For those of you that say alex is a bla bla bla….well I see that your still watching so he must be doing something right>

      • George

        Alex Trebek does not make the rules, or “call the shots.”
        That is left up to the judge’s panel, and their word is the last word.
        Alex knows the rules, and knows that misspellings are not accepted. Most times he doesn’t need to “go to the judges” as he KNOWS what their answer would be.
        What part of “you got it wrong” don’t people understand?

  • Suzanne

    If I remember correctly, after having had watched “Jeopardy” for many, many years, only the question for “Final Jeopardy” needs to be spelled correctly, the other questions don’t.

    • JC

      The other questions aren’t written out, but they still have to be pronounced correctly

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