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Spelling Error Sends Kid Home on Jeopardy!

By: CNN
By: CNN

Who is Thomas Hurley? The answer is the most heartbroken contestant ever.

The 8th grader was sent home from Final Jeopardy despite the fact that he and many others say he got the question right.

It's being called the saddest moment in Jeopardy! history.

An eighth-grader loses Final Jeopardy during kids week for misspelling a word.

12-year-old Thomas Hurley III, held back tears after his loss.
He later told his local newspaper: "I was pretty upset that I was cheated out of the final `jeopardy!' question. It was just a spelling error.''

The incident blew up over social media with many commenting on Jeopardy's Facebook page:
• He got the answer right he misspelled it big deal.
• When did Jeopardy become a "spelling bee'"?
• Shame on Jeopardy! ... Never watching again.

Hurley's parents claiming they were less upset at the loss, and more upset at how Trebek and company handled it, telling CNN they were - quote - "smug"

Jeopardy's producers released a statement: “If Jeopardy! Were to give credit for an incorrect response (however minor), the show would effectively penalize the other players. We love presenting young people as contestants on our show, and make every effort to be fair and consistent in their treatment.”

Last year, a contestant was penalized for mispronouncing the word "Wimbledon!"

Though no one has lost as badly, or boldly, as Cliff Clavin on an episode of cheers.

But this is real life-- and for Hurley and his family, who are still smarting from the loss.

As many have pointed out, even if Hurley spelled the answer correctly, he would not have won.

The boy who did win -- 12-year-old Skyler Hornback -- set a kids week record, winning $30,000 in one episode.

He won 66 thousand overall, the third highest one-day winnings in Jeopardy history.


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