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Note: A gangster’s paradise is not the same place as a gangsta’s paradise.
The $1,600 clue in the category “Music & Literature Before & After” was “a song by Coolio from Dangerous Minds goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton classic.”
The answer, or rather the question, was, of course, “What is Gangsta’s Paradise Lost?”
Spicher rung in quickly and answered, and host Alex Trebek awarded him the $1,600.
However, after some re-evaluation, the judges found that Spicher’s response was incorrect. What he actually said was: “What is Gangster’s Paradise Lost?” The hard “er” flub cost him not only the initial $1,600, but an additional $1,600 for answering incorrectly, for a total loss of $3,200, dropping him into second place.
According to the official Jeopardy! website, Spicher response was incorrect because “gangster” and “gangsta” are listed separately in the dictionary.
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.
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.
But don’t feel too bad for Spicher. He went on to win the game with $15,201 and will appear on the show again tonight.
David Britton is a writer and comedian based in Rhinebeck, New York who focuses on internet culture, memes, and viral news stories. He also writes for the Hard Times and is the creator of StoriesAboutWizards.com.