'Jeopardy!' Contestant Robbed of 10th Straight Win Due to Spelling Error
By Liam McKeone
There was a spark of controversy in the Jeopardy! world last night while the Boston Celtics desperately staved off elimination in Miami. Contestant Ben Chan was going for his 10th straight victory and held a comfortable lead going into Final Jeopardy!. Things seemed to be lining up.
Then it all went wrong. For the final question Chan was tasked with naming the two lovers from a Shakespeare play, and both the names come from the Latin word for "blessed." The other two contestants guessed Romeo and Juliet, which was wrong. Chan correctly guessed it was Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing. However, he did not spell Benedick correctly, was declared wrong, and bet just enough points to fall to second place.
The run was over and people were upset.
Here are the official rules for Final Jeopardy! per the show's website:
Jeopardy! is not a spelling test – unless, of course, the category requires it. Written responses to the Final Jeopardy! clue do not have to be spelled correctly, but they must be phonetically correct and not add or subtract any extraneous sounds or syllables. (Incidentally, the same rule applies to all responses on both the written and online tests.)
So technically Chan was right to lose since his spelling added on a "T" sound absent in the correct answer. But it does feel like a bit of a cheap way to end the run since we've all seen worse mistakes get passed over before.
Chan's streak will still go down in history, but a tough way to lose.