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Posted: January 03, 2018

'Gangsta' vs 'gangster': mispronunciation costs Jeopardy contestant

Alex Trebek
CBS Press Express
Alex Trebek

By Boston25News.com

It's too bad this Jeopardy contestant isn't from Boston.

Nick Spicher answered a question on the New Year's Day episode of the show, and got it right - at first.

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But after a minute, the judges retracted the money awarded to him - because of a pronunciation error.

The contestants received this clue: "A song by Coolio from 'Dangerous Minds' goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton classic."

Spicher was the first to the buzzer, and answered "Gangster's Paradise Lost." He won the $1,600 reward for the answer.

But after a minute - the judges came back and said he did not answer the question correctly.

"Our judges have re-evaluated one of your responses a few minutes ago, Nick," host Alex Trebek said. "You said 'gangster's' instead of 'gangsta's' on that song by Coolio, so we take $3,200 away from you. You are now in second place."

The show later explained its decision on its website.

"It turns out that 'gangsta' and 'gangster' are both listed separately in the Oxford English Dictionary, each with its own unique definition. Nick changed not only the song's title, but also its meaning - making his response unacceptable."


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