Game show contestant loses thousands for mispronouncing this word

Sarah Carty

A game show contestant has lost thousands of dollars for mispronouncing the word ‘gangsta’ as ‘gangster’.

Nick Spicher, who is a museum educator from Washington, was deducted $4,000 on the US game show Jeopardy! for mistaking the two.

During a question in the ‘Music & Literature Before & After’ category, Nick was asked to name the combined song title of “A song by Coolio from ‘Dangerous Minds’ goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton classic.”

A game show contestant was deducting thousands from his winnings after mispronouncing the word 'gangsta'. Photo: Jeopardy!

Nick responded with the answer “Gangster’s Paradise Lost” instead of “What is Gangsta’s Paradise Lost”.

While the host of the show, Alex Trebek, initially accepted the answer as correct, he later came back and said the judges weren’t going to accept Nick’s pronunciation, deducting him $4,000 for the mistake.

People online were outraged at the judges’ decision and even Coolio himself claims they were a bit harsh.

"I probably would have gave it to him," Coolio told TMZ.

"But let me explain something to you, and this is for white people.

“The 'e-r' will always get you in trouble. Never use the 'e-r.'

“If you don't have to use the 'e-r,' don't use it. That's a lesson for him . . . I think that it's a good lesson to never use the 'e-r.'"

Nick went on to win the show, pocketing $11,240 for his time.

While the host of the show, Alex Trebek initially took the answer as correct, he later came back and said the judges weren’t going to accept Nick’s pronunciation, deducting him $4,000 for the mistake. Photo: Jeopardy!

The game show hit back at critics of the judges’ choice, saying they need to make sure “the rules being applied are fair and consistent”.

“The judges ultimately ruled against Nick’s response of “Gangster’s Paradise Lost,” and it all came down to one syllable,” a blog post on the game show website sad.

“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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