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Jeopardy! Fans Slam Inconsistent Spelling Rules: 'Make It Make Sense'

Fans of the game show are frustrated by apparent inconsistencies.
  • Messy handwriting has caused something of a Jeopardy! controversy (Photos: Twitter)
    Messy handwriting has caused something of a Jeopardy! controversy (Photos: Twitter)

    Jeopardy! fans are frustrated with the popular game show due to perceived inconsistencies with its rules.

    On Monday's episode, contestant Erica Weiner-Amachi wrote "What is Waiting for Godot?" as her Final Jeopardy! answer, but many viewers felt her writing was indecipherable, despite host Ken Jennings accepting the answer.

    On June 22, however, Sadie Goldberger had a similar moment, during which her answer, "Who is Harriet Tubman?" was deemed incorrect because producers thought her handwriting was illegible.

    One Twitter user posted the two moments side-by-side and wrote, "#Jeopardy this didn't count, but then this one did??" Another fan pointed out that this problem would be solved if contestants were simply allowed to use "keypads for Final Jeopardy. It's 2022."

    According to the official Jeopardy! rules, "Jeopardy! is not a spelling test — unless, of course, the category requires it. Written responses to the Final Jeopardy! clue do not have to be spelled correctly, but they must be phonetically correct and not add or subtract any extraneous sounds or syllables."

    If something is misspelled, the rules state, "it will come down to a judgment call."

    Jeopardy! airs weeknights in syndication, with new episodes airing through July.

    People are talking about Jeopardy! in our forums. Join the conversation.

    Deena ElGenaidi's writing has been featured in Nylon, MTV News, Insider, The AV Club, and more. You can follow her on Twitter @deenaelg.

    TOPICS: Jeopardy!, Ken Jennings, Game Shows