Mispronouncing Coolio's 'Gangsta's Paradise' Costs 'Jeopardy!' Contestant $3,200

A pronunciation error cost Jeopardy! contestant Nick $3,200 and kicked him back to second place, and Twitter seems to see it as justice.

The answer, provided by host Alex Trebek on yesterday's New Year's Day show, was "A song by Coolio from 'Dangerous Minds' goes back in time to become a 1667 John Milton classic."

Nick hit the buzzer first, and proudly offered the question: "What is Gangster's Paradise Lost?" He was awarded his money and looked rather proud of the answer.

However, shortly after, Trebek had to take the winnings back from Nick, as the judges had ruled the difference between "gangster" and "gangsta" was too great to ignore. Nick's face as the loss set him back to second place was priceless, and many Twitter users in the reply say they've been studying it all morning in fascination.

The moment might have been lost amongst a sea of awkward flubs of the game show, if it hadn't been caught and recorded by The Daily Show's Roy Wood Jr. The parody news correspondent posted a video of his TV screen, preserving Nick's rise and fall in an clip that's been replayed over half a million times.

"Let Nick's mistake be a lesson to us all," Wood tweeted, "In 2018, you gotta keep it gangsta at all times. Never Gangster." The video was even retweeted with Jeopardy, thanked Wood for noticing the moment of semantic severity.

Wood later shared the Jeopardy judges' official ruling on the show's website.


"It turns out that 'gangsta' and 'gangster' are both listed separately in the Oxford English Dictionary," states the ruling, "each with its own unique definition. Nick changed not only the song's title, but also its meaning ­– making his response unacceptable."

Nick can't be too devastated by the loss, as he went on to win the episode. He remains the reigning Jeopardy champion.