Final Jeopardy: The Civil War

The Final Jeopardy question (7/31/2013) in the category “The Civil War” was:

Abraham Lincoln called this document, which took effect in 1863, “a fit and necessary war measure”.

It’s the third day of Kid’s Week and today’s contestants are: Shuli Jones from Toronto, ON CA; Thomas Hurley, from Newtown, CT and Skyler Hornback, from Sonora, KY.

Skyler found the Jeopardy! round Daily Double in “This Category has ‘ize’.” He was in the lead with $2,600, $1,400 ahead of Shuli in second place. He bet $2,000 and he was RIGHT.

To punish a sports player
for an infraction.

Skyler finished in the lead with $10,200. Thomas was second with $5,200 and Shuli was last with $2,400.

Skyler found the first Double Jeopardy Daily Double in “You Do the Math.” He was the lead with $11,400 now, $6,200 ahead of Thomas in second place. He boldly bet $10,000 and he was RIGHT.

Vacation has taken you to a country where it’s 4 pesos to every dollar, so your $7.50 gets you this many pesos. show

Shuli found the last Daily Double in “Museums.” She was in second place with $10,400, $22,200 behind Skyler’s lead. She bet $4,000 and took a guess with Tampa. That was WRONG.

What’s called “the oldest house museum complex” is located in this Florida City, the USA’s oldest city. show

Skyler finished in the lead with $36,600, more than double the top prize. Thomas was next with $9,600 and Shuli was in third place with $6,400.

Only ONE of the contestants got Final Jeopardy! right.


“When Lincoln issued the famous proclamation on January 1, 1863, he was acting, he said, in his capacity “as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States in time of actual armed rebellion … and as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion.” Lincoln believed the reference to the war was legally necessary to justify the measure, because his proposal certainly did not fall within the president’s quotidian powers … only the special circumstances of the Civil War justified him in abolishing it.” Slavery in the Modern World: A History of Political, Social, and Economic Oppression (2011)

Shuli wrote down “the second amendment.” She lost her $3,200 bet and finished with $3,200.

Thomas wrote “The EmanicipTation Proclamation. He got dinged for putting an extra T in there (although Alex seemed to think it was the P). He lost his $3,000, finishing with $6,600.

Skyler got it right and bet a whopping $30,000 since he is a Civil War buff, as was revealed in the chat segment. He memorized the Gettysburg Address at age 6 and recited it on CNN at age 9. So he is the first contestant taking home more than the top prize, and not just a little, A LOT! $66,600. Alex Trebek said it was almost a one-day record for any of their shows, except the final of the championship.

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20 Responses

  1. VJ says:

    Well, let’s all just pray they never rerun this show, or poor Thomas will have to “relive” it again, even though I don’t really get that. Did somebody twist his arm to watch it when it aired? It was taped in February and he had all that time to get over it.

  2. Tom Clark says:

    Yeah, I saw that today and thought of Thomas. If she thought the play was called Waitin for Godot, wouldn’t it need to be Waitin’, like Singin’ in the Rain?

    But more to the point of Thomas Hurley. I couldn’t believe my eyes or ears, but it actually made the NBC national news tonight. Things are getting pretty silly.

  3. VJ says:

    LOL. Almost sounds like the parents are gearing up to sue, don’t it?

    The way I saw it, Trebek was repeating what the judges were saying to him.

    It’s a shame that Skyler’s big win had to be marred by this bs.

    BTW, I just posted a video of the teacher’s tournament rerun FJ — one of the teachers lost her bet in FJ for leaving off a G in “Waiting.” (Not that I think that would make Thomas feel any better).

  4. Tom Clark says:

    This keeps going. The story now is that Trebek humiliated the poor kid

  5. VJ says:

    In the article, Thomas say: “I was pretty upset that I was cheated…. It was just a spelling error.”

    First of all, it wasn’t ‘just’ a spelling error but I’m not going to go over all the other stuff I’ve already posted about it.

    What amazes me is how they keep saying Trebek ruled against him. Trebek is just the host. The judges ruled against him and Trebek said so on the show — “the judges are ruling against you.”

  6. Tom Clark says:

    Hey, it’s Tom the Dork again! Hiya.

    BTW, I stand by the unmitigated gall I had to dare to criticize someone of African ancestry. I don’t care if she’s from the moon — if you go on Jeopardy, you have to know stuff, even stuff about American history, and she gave a DUMB answer. Learn to live with it.

    But that’s not why I called you here. I called you here to say poor little Thomas Hurley can’t get over what happened to him, and it’s actually making the news

  7. Jonas says:

    That kid has to learn to roll with the punches or he’ll never be the Jeopardy host. Look at all the sh*t Trebek gets blamed.

  8. VJ says:

    yes, we are all human, and human nature being what it is, if they did change the rules for the kids, it would only lead to more problems. Like someone winning who would be judged wrong in regular games, or someone getting second place when they should have got third. Then people would be all up in arms about that. LOL.

    People also complain when misspellings are accepted. Here’s a link to a game in Jan. this year where there was complaining over the winner spelling Sarajevo wrong. His answer was accepted because it didn’t change it into a different sounding word.

  9. john blahuta says:

    good thing the ruling made no difference. yes, it was maybe more than misspelled but i agree with Alexander, no need to rub it in.nobody knew that Skyler would pull a “Cliff Clavin”, only with the difference that Skyler was right. what a haul for Skyler. being so confident that he risked losing the game and came out on top! congratulations!!

    p.s. and maybe j. can modify the “spelling” rules, at least for a kid tournament….
    and yes, alex, being the gentleman that he usually is, could have been more sensitive..but alas, we are all human and thus do things that we regret later…

  10. VJ says:

    @stan – nah, these aren’t quarter-finals. It’s a one-week tournament and that’s it for this season.

  11. Stan Olson says:

    It would/might have made a difference. There are wild cards besides the winners so he may have been a wild card.

  12. Cathy Tyner says:

    I agree as does my 89 year old mother…a longtime Jeopardy fan…that the omission of a ” t” in the final jeopardy answer did not merit the cruel & unjust
    response by Alex. He was equally cold to the poor child reduced to tears. Alex owes the young man an apology for his heartless behavior regardless of the ruling.

  13. VJ says:

    If Thomas had spelled Emancipation as, say,Emansipation or Emancapation, not making it end with a different sound (ta-tion), I think the ruling would have been in his favor. There was a guy last year named Reid who got dinged twice (and he was the frontrunner so it really did cost him the game), once for saying Wimbleton instead of Wimbledon and in FJ for having an extra N in Iberian making it read Ibernian. (Here’s the video).

    I don’t think Sue was being mean. You’ve got to be a good sport. Shuli took her chances on an American game show and was a good sport when confronted with American History questions she didn’t know.

    Don’t know what is so upsetting about it — Trebek doesn’t make the ruling, the judges do. Thomas didn’t have a prayer of winning the game in the first place and, as Alexander pointed out, he wound up in the same place even if he had spelled it right or in a way that the judges would okay.

  14. RonSpain says:

    I agree with D.Bailey and actually just sent a comment to Jeopardy about that. Thomas had the right answer. Alex can’t even figure out what’s wrong with it – he thinks it’s the ‘p’ and not the ‘t’. I think luck plays a large part in something like Jeopardy, and Thomas could’ve easily won. I think people like Sue just enjoy criticizing little kids, and maybe some people just enjoy seeing a bright young kid’s hopes dashed, because people like that are jealous and they want everyone to feel like failures like they do. But whatever. It’s Jeopardy. Who really cares?

  15. Sue says:

    Wow! What a show. And what a brilliant kid Skyler is, not to mention a real risk taker. I sure do hope he goes far in life. The other kid, Thomas, who lost by a judgment call, needs to learn to lose. I know it sounds mean and he’s only a kid, but his body language was very telling of his personality. He folded his arms and was seriously on the verge of tears, quivering chin and all. I’m sure in his own little circle of friends and his family, of course, he is told how brilliant he is and how far he’ll go in life. But I bet no one ever told him that sometimes there’s going to be someone funnier, a real risk taker, and smarter than he. And tonight Thomas met that person in Skyler. I loved the little girl. She seemed to have a good time and I thought she did well, but was also over powered by the ace, Skyler.

  16. Alexander says:

    Agree about the ruling–but it didn’t change anything. Would have gotten second and 2000 either way. Just thought it was rubbing his nose in the dirt to rule against a minor error with SUCH a heavy lead.

  17. matt Piccioni says:

    @tom you dork… can you sing the Canadian anthem without looking at the words??? The girl is Canadian cut her some slack…. bet she can sing your anthem though. listen I agree about Thomas, this was a ridiculous decision made by the judges. left a bad taste in my mouth… ps so did tom above.

  18. D.Bailey says:

    Jeopardy hit a sore spot in me after watching the show for more years than I can remember. I’ve seen scribbles written and if it looked like the answer it was considered correct. I felt so sorry for Thomas Hurley.He did have the correct answer. What’s the matter with you Mr. Trebec? Bring that nice young man back. Shame on this judgement call! This show will be remembered for more than Skyler’s
    big win! (by the way Congrat’s to Skyler)

  19. VJ says:

    @Tom – did you happen to notice that Shuli is from Canada?

  20. Tom Clark says:

    I could have sworn there were times in the past when words were misspelled for the FJ answer and Trebek said spelling didn’t count.

    Thomas seemed on the verge of tears when his parents greeted him, and I can’t say I blame him.

    I’m sorry to be so blunt, but the Second Amendment is a really stupid answer, showing a misunderstanding of when the Bill of Rights took effect and what the Civil War was all about — and this from a girl with an African-American father!

    But Skyler is one brilliant kid, with a nice personality, too. Unless the world gets crazier than it already is, he should go far in life.