‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Slam Game Show, This Time For Ruling An Answer As Correct

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Some Jeopardy! viewers think a contestant should actually have been marked wrongSome Jeopardy! viewers think a contestant should actually have been marked wrong

Jeopardy! puts one handful after another of lucky contestants in a national spotlight to test their trivia knowledge and try their hand at winning thousands. With over 9.2 million viewers a year, the program has plenty of fans who know the proceedings inside and out. But recently, an answer was deemed correct that had some Jeopardy! watchers scratching their heads.

Jeopardy! is currently in the midst of its 40th season, which has been an odd one due to the aftereffects of the writers’ strike coupled with the withdrawal of Mayim Bialik as co-host, leaving Ken Jennings to run the show. Fans have still had plenty to talk about, usually dismayed when a contestant fails to recall a correct answer or when the game rules against them. This time, however, some viewers were upset when the game actually supported a contestant. Why?

One ‘Jeopardy!’ answer has some viewers insisting the contestant was not correct due to spelling

The episode that aired on Thursday, December 28 saw players confronted with a category reading, “Those Zany Ancient Romans.” They were eventually presented with the clue, “In the 20s B.C., the emperor’s sister Octavia had a sitcom-worthy home including the boy and girl twin children of this man and woman.”

The winner of that episode, Xanni Brown, submitted the response, “Who are Anthony + Cleopatra?” Technically, the correct answer is Antony and Cleopatra, but he was still deemed correct and triumphed in that episode of Jeopardy!, to the chagrin of some at home.

One Twitter user objected, “Someone just won Jeopardy! despite writing “Anthony & Cleopatra” instead of “Antony” but they accepted it & when did society just give up caring about everything?”

What is: the ‘Jeopardy!’ rulebook concerning correct spelling?

Some Jeopardy! fans are split on whether the answer should be viewed as correct or notSome Jeopardy! fans are split on whether the answer should be viewed as correct or not
Some Jeopardy! fans are split on whether the answer should be viewed as correct or not / Twitter

Is there a basis for marking such an answer wrong? Mark Antony is, after all, a different person than any Anthony in Roman history. But, another viewer noted online, “Spelling has never been important in Final Jeopardy, they’re only sticklers for phonetic pronunciation.” Is that all there is to it?

The Jeopardy! rules state that spelling is not an issue - unless there is a big phonetic discrepancyThe Jeopardy! rules state that spelling is not an issue - unless there is a big phonetic discrepancy
The Jeopardy! rules state that spelling is not an issue – unless there is a big phonetic discrepancy / YouTube screenshot

The rules of Jeopardy! do state online that “Jeopardy! is not a spelling test,” though it does add, “unless, of course, the category requires it. Written responses to the Final Jeopardy! clue does not have to be spelled correctly, but they must be phonetically correct and not add or subtract any extraneous sounds or syllables.”

Some impressive winning streaks have been toppled due to spelling errors, handwriting mishaps, and other similar rulings. Writing Anthony instead of Antony does change the historical figure’s name, but during that particular match, the answer was ruled correct enough for a divisive Jeopardy! win.

Over on YouTube, one viewer cited both history and the rules, noting, “English speaking countries have referred to him as both Antony and Anthony (with the former being prevalent in America until the late stages of last century).” The user then added, “Also listen CLOSELY; Ken says, “Did she come up with Anthony and Cleopatra.” So it obviously was an acceptable pronunciation.”

Contestants were confronted with a question of historic proportionsContestants were confronted with a question of historic proportions
Contestants were confronted with a question of historic proportions / YouTube screenshot



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