Jeopardy!
1.2.2018

‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Loses Thousands for Mispronouncing Coolio’s ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’

A “Jeopardy!” contestant made a $3,200 mistake when he mispronounced the name of Coolio’s hit song on the famed trivia show.

The contestant, Nick Spicher, was given a clue for his question: “A song by Coolio from Dangerous Minds goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton classic.” Spicher’s answer, “Gangster’s Paradise Lost,” was initially deemed correct, until host Alex Trebek had to break the news.

“You said ‘Gangster’s’ instead of ‘Gangsta’s’ on that song by Coolio,” said Trebek. “We take $3,200 away from you so you are now in second place.”

The show’s website explained the ruling by describing the scene. “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,” they explained. “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.”

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Spicher took to Twitter to share his reaction to the blunder. “My first thought was, ‘Didn’t I say “gangsta”?’ and I kind of wanted to hear the tape,” he tweeted. “But I assume they listened to it quite enough to definitively determine it. And since that was my reaction, that of course means that yes, ‘Gangsta’s’ would have been correct. They had every right to call me out on it. And I will be forever proud of the moment that Alex Trebek taught me how to say ‘Gangsta.’ :P”

“Jeopardy” often uses hip-hop and R&B references on the program. In the last few years, Beyoncé, Fetty Wap, and Chance the Rapper have been answers, questions, and/or categories on the show.