‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Loses Money Over Mispronouncing ‘Gangsta’

January 3, 2018 Updated: January 3, 2018

A “Jeopardy!” contestant lost money for mispronouncing “Gangsta’s Paradise,” the 1995 Coolio song.

Contestant Nick Spicher was penalized for saying “Gangster’s Paradise” instead of “Gangsta’s Paradise” on the game show this week.

He responded to the clue, “A song by Coolio from Dangerous Minds goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton classic.” Spicher answered, “What is ‘Gangster’s Paradise Lost.'”

Host Alex Trebek initially accepted the response, but other “Jeopardy!” judges determined his answer wasn’t correct. He lost $3,200, but he eventually won the game nonetheless.

On the show’s website, “Jeopardy!” explained the reasoning for the penalization.

“Although Nick’s response of ‘Gangster’s Paradise Lost’ was initially accepted, the hard R sound caught the ear of one member of the onstage team, who immediately followed up with a quick check,” it says. “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.”

Coolio responded to the error, saying he would have let it slide.


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