Alex Trebek Slammed On Twitter For Embarrassing Young Boy On Jeopardy [WATCH VIDEO] 'Gameshow is Not A Spelling Bee' Says Supporters Of Misspelling Emancipation

By Staff Writer | August 05, 2013 03:24 PM EDT

Jeopardy cheated a 12 year old boy when he misspelled his final jeopardy question Emancipation, spelling the word 'Emanciptation.' The boy lost $3,000 for the misspell, and the boy was emabrrased by Alex Trebek's unsympathetic response.

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When the boy put a second 't' in his answer Trebek at first said he got it right, but since it was so "badly misspelled," Hurley wouldn't be credited with the correct response. Hurley lowered his head and could not face the camera as Trebek praised winner Hornbeck who spelled the answer correctly.

Thomas Hurley III, 12, was on Jeopardy! during Kids Week, which was filmed in February and the controversial episode aired last week. Thomas, who was in second place with $9,600 in winnings, had wagered $3,000 on the answer.

"It's generated a little bit of controversy," his mother, Suzanne, told the News-Times. "He was a little stunned by it. He felt embarrassed. It was hard to watch."

"The thing that bothered me most was the way Alex Trebek and the producers treated my son. They were kind of smug," his father, Thomas Hurley II, told CNN on Sunday night. "It's a kids' tournament! Everyone knew what he meant."

"I was pretty upset that I was cheated out of the final Jeopardy! question. It was just a spelling error," Hurley said.

According to the AP, Jeopardy! producers have issued a response, defending Trebek. "IfJeopardy! were to give credit for an incorrect response (however minor), the show would effectively penalize the other players. We love presenting young people as contestants on our show and make every effort to be fair and consistent in their treatment," the statement read.

Backlash to Jeopardy on the internet has been monumental.

"Jeopardy is not a spelling bee game and frankly before Alex Trebek or the judges penalize this boy for not spelling a word correctly then Alex trebek needs too explain too the contestants that spelling matters in the final around," Ash Cruz Rios-James also said on Facebook.

"Bravo Jeopardy!" said David Sneen on Twitter. "If you were to give credit for a misspelled close would the spelling need to be?"

Facebook user Jan Manire put it in perspective: "Am sorry Thomas feels that he was 'cheated' because of misspelling. Even if the answer had been allowed, he still would have been in second place and won $2,000, which is what he won."



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