An 8th grader from Newtown, Connecticut recently lost $3,000 of his final Jeopardy! earnings due to a tiny spelling error. 12-year-old Thomas Hurley III answered the “Final Jeopardy!” question (answer?) correctly, but spelled the answer (question?)—Emancipation Proclamation—incorrectly. Hurley spelled it: “emanciptation,” and Trebek immediately pointed it out as the world watched horror and shock take over the child's face.
Hurley told a local newspaper (who made him pose for this photo), “I was pretty upset that I was cheated out of the final Jeopardy. It was just a spelling error.” But it's not like he would have won anyway, his rival cleaned up with over $60,000. And anyway, he earned $2,000 as runner-up and walked away with a few valuable lessons (and hopefully a better understanding of the word "cheated"): Rules are rules. This too shall pass. Deal with it. Etc. And he gets brief and fleeting Internet Fame!
As for the Jeopardy! team, they say, “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.”