‘Jeopardy!’ Fans Continue to Be Shocked by Seemingly Inconsistent Rules

by Taylor Cunningham

Jeopardy! fans are airing some frustrations on social media after the game show’s judges made inconsistent calls during two recent episodes.

Specifically, people are claiming that the judges are following the game show’s Final Jeopardy! spelling rules in some cases but not others. And they’ve taken to Twitter to showcase the hypocrisy.

The main examples in question happened on June 22nd and July 18th. In the latter, contestant Erica Weiner-Amachi wrote an illegible answer that part time host Ken Jennings accepted. And the call confused fans because last month, his counterpart, Mayim Bialik, refused Sadie Goldberger’s answer after the judges said it was too sloppy to read. And because of that, they couldn’t verify the spelling.

According to the official rules, a contestant does not have to actually spell a word correctly. However, someone reading it must be able to logically sound it out so it sounds like the true word.

“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,”reads the Jeopardy! website.

Fans Want ‘Jeopardy!’ to ‘Make it Make Sense’

While the rule’s wording definitely leaves room for interpretation, some people are confused by the two recent rulings. And to point out why they are feeling that way, they’ve begun circulating a picture. In it, a Twitter user named Herschel Cuyler posted side-by-side pictures of Weiner-Amachi and Goldberger’s writing.

“#jeopardy this didn’t count, but then this one did??” they asked.

“Apparently according to #Jeopardy producers, one of these says “Waiting for Godot” while the other does NOT say “Harriet Tubman.” #MakeItMakeSense,” one person wrote alongside the re-tweeted picture.

In the comments of the original post, many people stressed that either both answers should have been refused or both should have been accepted. Because to their eyes, they’re equally as unreadable. However, a few people could see how the judges accepted Weiner-Amachi’s answer over the other.

“It looks like she wrote “Godo” and since spelling doesn’t matter as long as the pronunciation isn’t [affected], they just counted it. Since Sadies looked like “Tubnay” rather than “Tubman”, it didn’t count,” responded MOH.

In the end, one commenter had a solution to the problem. And many people agreed with it. According to TempletonZe, the whole issue boils down to archaic technology. And if the series would get with the times, the conversation wouldn’t even be happening.

“I don’t quite get why contestants don’t have keypads for Final Jeopardy,” they wrote. “It’s 2022.”