'Jeopardy' Contestant Loses $3200 for Mixing up 'Gangster' and 'Gangsta'

You certainly don’t see something like this every night on Jeopardy. In the first episode of 2018, contestant Nick Spicher lost $3200 after the judges consulted and determined that one of his previous answers was incorrect. And it all came down to the correct pronunciation of the word “gangsta.” You read that correctly.

The original clue read: “A song by Coolio from ‘Dangerous Minds’ goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton classic.”

The song it is referring to is, of course, “Gangsta’s Paradise,” so the correct answer to the clue should have been “Gangsta’s Paradise Lost.” But the contestant mispronounced “gangsta” and said “Gangster’s Paradise Lost” instead.

It turns out that “gangster” and “gangsta” are listed separately in the Oxford English Dictionary. So when Spicher changed the song’s title, he changed its meaning.

For the record, according to EOD, a gangster is “a member of a gang of violent criminals,” while a gangsta is “a gang member.”

Of course, the internet got quite a kick out of this.

While others thought it wasn’t fair:

And it even turns out that Coolio would probably be a more lenient judge on Jeopardy:

You can watch how it all went down in the tweet below: