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‘Jeopardy!’ contestant loses $3K for not knowing the difference between 'Gangsta' and 'Gangster'


We may have found the most unforgiving and harsh of all the game shows in the land – and its Jeopardy! Unless you’ve enunciated the correct answer to absolute perfection, they may just stomp all over your dreams of winning glory.

The clip below is an excellent example of this almost inhumane commitment to accuracy. Contestant, Nick Spicher, thought he nailed the following piece of wordplay, “a song by Coolio from ‘Dangerous Minds’ goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton classic.”

If you enjoy both the collective works of Coolio and classic English literature, you would know the correct answer is ‘Gangsta’s Paradise Lost” 

Nick got the general gist of it… but he said it a little wrong. Instead of saying “Gangsta’s Paradise Lost,” he said “Gangster’s Paradise Lost”. Same, same but as it turns out, ultimately different. 

The ruling cost Nick $3,200, though he ended up winning the overall game regardless. The team behind Jeopardy! handed down the explanation behind their brutal verdict:

The correct response? “What is Gangsta’s Paradise Lost?”

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 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.

So I guess it means that street smarts are really just as important as book smarts?