Jeopardy! Contestant Loses Thousands for Saying ‘Gangster’ Instead of ‘Gangsta’


A contestant on Jeopardy! lost a lot of money recently when he mispronounced the name of Coolio’s award-winning rap anthem from 1995.

On the trivia program’s first show of the new year, Alex Trebek offered this clue: “A song by Coolio from Dangerous Minds goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton classic.” The question was a reference to the book Paradise Lost and the hip-hop magnum opus Gangsta’s Paradise.

Contestant Nick Spicher responded with “What is Gangster’s Paradise Lost?” and his answer was accepted at first for $1,600. Unfortunately, Trebek had to tell him afterwards that the judges reviewed his answer, and they decided that it didn’t count.

“You said ‘Gangster’s’ instead of ‘Gangsta’s’ on that song by Coolio,” Trebek said. “We take $3,200 away from you so you are now in second place.”

Spicher managed to win the game regardless, and Jeopardy! put a statement on their website to explain why they docked his winnings.

“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.”

Spicher offered his own thoughts when he penned an extensive Twitter essay about his experience on the show.

Coolio spoke to TMZ about all of this, and he said he would’ve let Spicher’s answer slide, even if there was something to be said about the difference in linguistic inflection.

Watch above, via NBC and TMZ.

[Image via screengrab]

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