Wheel of Fortune contestant ‘robbed’ of $65.5k prize for ‘clearly solved’ puzzle, fans fume online

Publish Date
Thursday, 1 February 2024, 5:14PM

Fuming Wheel of Fortune viewers have alleged that a US contestant was robbed of $65,500 for her incorrect answer that may have been right.

The contestant was a married high school choir director from California named Megan. She needed to guess the two-word answer to solve a bonus puzzle for the category of “Living Thing”, according to the New York Post.

After Megan spins the wheel and it stops, host Pat Sajak picks up the prize estimate card and walks the contestant to the puzzle board that reads, “_ _N_ | _R_ _ _ _.’

Megan guesses a couple of letters until the board reads, “P_N_ | _RC_ _D”.

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With only 10 seconds to go on the timer, Megan blurts out her final answer, which sounded like “pink orchid”, or could alternatively have been heard as “something orchid”.

As the timer rings, the correct letters are revealed on the board. Megan then reads the answer, “pink orchid”, aloud with frustration in her voice.

“You might have been overthinking a type of orchid. I’m sorry that didn’t work out for you,” Sajak says, as if he had realised Megan could’ve been right.

Sajak then unveiled the prize estimate card, which revealed US$40,000 ($65,515). That figure was far from the US$14,007 ($22,942) she took home.

Fans watching the TV show at home were livid, going out of their way to tell Wheel of Fortune how angry they were about the contestant’s answer being deemed wrong.

“The woman got screwed on [the] #WheelOfFortune bonus puzzle tonight, she totally said ‘pink orchid’ right at the start,” one person wrote on X.

“I questioned the judges from the first thing she said!! I’m deaf in one ear, and half-remaining on right, so I use captions and lip-read. She said ‘pink orchid’!! No question!! [sic],” another fan chimed in.

“I am FUMING!! She got it, she said ‘pink orchid’! WTF?!” a third said in coming to Megan’s defence.

“Hey @WheelofFortune, I heard the contestant say ‘pink orchid’ at the beginning of that final puzzle and rewound it to make sure. You owe her some $$$,” one fuming viewer said.

“Okay @WheelofFortune, if you play tonight’s episode again for the final puzzle, the one that just aired, you will hear clearly that she said ‘pink orchid’. You did not properly credit the winner. Go and play it back. Seriously, she said exactly that! Pink orchid!”



This isn’t the first time Wheel of Fortune has been called out over a mishap.

Watchers went into a frenzy in January when showrunners seemingly messed up an answer during an express round in a category called “Rhyme Time”.

Two contestants were lost on the answer. However, a third named Jill eventually solved it after guessing two “y”s for the puzzle, which read: “Absolutely positively”.

“‘Absolutely positively’ is NOT a rhyme,” one user stated on X.

“Hey @WheelofFortune,” another fan wrote. “Care to explain how these two words rhyme? Because they absolutely positively DON’T.”

This article was first published in the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.

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