Jeopardy Contestant Loses $3,200 for Answering With 'Gangster' Instead of 'Gangsta'

Offbeat - Inside Edition Staff

A Jeopardy! contestant recently learned the difference between "gangster" and "gangsta" — exactly $3,200.

That's how much Nick Spicher lost on the popular game show when his response had the "-er" sound rather than the "-a."

It may seem minute, but a check by judges who initially deemed the response correct found that even the dictionary has entries for both.

The $1,600 clue in the Music & Literature Before & After category called for the combined title of two works. The clue was "A song by Coolio from Dangerous Minds goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton classic."

Spicher’s response of "Gangster’s Paradise Lost" was initially accepted, but not for long.

"It turns out that 'gangsta' and 'gangster' are both listed separately in the Oxford English Dictionary, each with its own unique definition," the folks at Jeopardy! wrote in a social media post Monday. "Nick changed not only the song’s title, but also its meaning — making his response unacceptable."

When the error was found, Spicher lost the $1,600, as well as an additional $1,600 from his score because he had answered incorrectly.

The response also cost Spicher the lead. He did, however, go on to win the game.

"I still don't know what to make of this whole Coolio thing," Spicher said later in a tweet. "I think I already said all I'm going to say on it. I'm glad people are having fun with it. And I hope it blows over soon. Again, thanks, everyone! Stay gangsta."

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