When it comes to cinching a victory sometimes the difference is little more than a letter. Such was the case for the November 6 episode of Jeopardy! that left fans upset with host Ken Jennings‘ controversial ruling over a contestant’s answer.
The show had reached the Final Jeopardy round with the category being Music & Literature and the question, “John Steinbeck called this ‘one of the great songs of the world’ and wanted the music and lyrics printed in one of his novels.”
As Jennings went over the contestants’ answers Brian Adams wrote, “What is the Battle Hymn of the Repubic?”. A seemingly correct answer, except Adams was missing one thing; the letter “l” in the word “Republic.”
Adams threw up his hands in dismay after realizing his mistake. “We can’t accept that Brian,” Jennings replied. It would be a sore mistake that would cost Brian his entire winnings of $5,200.
The next contestant David Pai failed to give an answer while frontrunner Jiliana Cotter got it correct, leading her to victory with a lofty sum of $22,400.
Let’s Ask The Fans
While Adams couldn’t have won the game even if he had gotten the answer correct, fans disagreed with the host’s decision to throw out his answer.
“They should have accepted that dudes answer,” wrote one fan in the comments on YouTube.
“I didn’t think spelling counted in Final Jeopardy?!” another said.
“Seriously? You lose because you leave ONE LETTER out of a word in a multi-word title??? Not even the first letter. Not even the first word. Ugh!” one fan commented.
Others had sympathy for Brian as well.
“Sorry about that, Brian. This bothered me for the rest of the day,” one fan admitted.
But it wouldn’t be the first time a controversial call had upset fans. The October 18 episode of Jeopardy! had stumped not one, but two contestants over the difficult pronunciation of the ancient Aztec city of “Tenochtitlan.”
However, per Jeopardy! rules, the show will wave spelling errors as long as they don’t change the pronunciation of the answer. Unfortunately, that was not the case for Brian, who will undoubtedly remember how to spell the word, “republic.” Better luck next time!