‘Jeopardy!’ Fans React to Judge’s ‘Harsh’ Ben Chan Ruling

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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the May 23 episode of Jeopardy!]

Nine-day Jeopardy! champ Ben Chan took on retired museum educator Lynn Di Vito and policy communications manager Joe Leserman to continue his record-making reign and increase his total winnings of $252,600.

Host Mayim Bialik joked that Chan could even someday match Ken Jennings’ streak of 65 runaway wins. However, a rocky game for Chan and a harsh ruling from the judges may jeopardize his chances of breaking that streak.

Ben lost $4,200 on a true Daily Double in the first round but retained the lead going into Double Jeopardy with $3,800, Danny at $600, and Lynn with $400. Lynn secured the second Daily Double and took first place by adding $3,000 to her total of $7,200, tying with Ben. During the third Daily Double, Ben dropped $3,000 from his score of $11,200 against Lynn’s $11,600 but played a strong game leading into Final Jeopardy with $17,400, Lynn with $14,800, and $2,400 for Danny.

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In Final Jeopardy, in the category of Shakespeare’s Characters, “Both of the names of these 2 lovers in a Shakespeare play come from Latin words for ‘blessed.’” Everyone got the answer incorrect, including 9-day champ Ben, who bet $12,201, and Lynn only bet $3,000, making her the winner with $11,800, Ben at $5,199, and Danny at $1,000. Unfortunately, Ben was a letter off spelling the correct answer, “Beatrice and Benedick,” and spelled Benedict.

Many in the Jeopardy! Subreddit says the ruling from the judges was “harsh.” According to the post, which cites the official Jeopardy! rule book, “If Ben had left off the last letter in his FJ response, it likely would have been accepted, as it would be pronounced the same way as if it was spelled correctly.”

“Oof, heartbreaking way for Ben to lose,” one user said. “Ouch, my heart hurts for Ben. Thanks for all the good times! See you again soon in the ToC,” another said.

Folks on Twitter shared the same sentiment, feeling he was cheated out of victory. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comment section below.

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