Jeopardy! Contestant's Fortune Turns on Mispronunciation of Coolio Classic

Jeopardy Gangsta Mistake

As a recent Jeopardy! contestant walked through the valley of the shadow of death/he looked down at his total and realized there was near nothing left.

Nick Spicher’s adherence to grammar over rap lyrics cost him more than $3,000 on Monday’s episode of the game show, in which he responded to the Double Jeopardy-round clue “A song by Coolio from Dangerous Minds goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton classic” with the answer, “What is Gangster’s Paradise Lost?”

Though host Alex Trebek initially awarded Spicher $1,600 for the question, the show says a member of the production team flagged judges after noticing the hard “r” sound in his response. Keep in mind that the 1995 hit is called “Gangsta’s Paradise,” and you’ll start to see how things got complicated. (Thanks to The Daily Show‘s Roy Wood Jr., who tweeted the video Tuesday.)

“It turns out that ‘gangsta’ and ‘gangster’ are both listed separately in the Oxford English Dictionary, each with its own unique definition,” the quiz show later clarified. “Nick changed not only the song’s title, but also its meaning ­— making his response unacceptable.”

The correction wound up costing Spicher $3200 and the lead.

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