'Wheel Of Fortune' Fans Furious After Player Solves Puzzle But Loses Prize

By Dave Basner

December 23, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

Hot on the heels of a controversial bonus round on Monday's show, Wheel of Fortune has upset fans for the second time in one week.

First, the game show came under fire for a confusing bonus round puzzle that cost a contestant $39,000. The category was "Person" and the puzzle spelled out "Young Jock." If they were going for the rapper, that is spelled Yung Joc, and if they are going for just a "young jock," that doesbn't seem to fit the category of "Person." Now, fans are once again in an uproar over another incident that also took place during the bonus round. This one saw a contestant lose over a very picky technicality.

Charlene Rubush, a stadium server at Las Vegas' Allegiant Stadium - home to the Las Vegas Raiders - won the game and moved on to the bonus round where she had to solve a puzzle under the category "What Are You Doing." With all the chosen letters showing, the puzzle read "_ H _ _ SING THE RIGHT _ _ RD." After struggling, Charlene said, "Choosing the right..." hesitated, and just before the buzzer, yelled, "Word!" Even though she correctly solved the puzzle, she didn't win.

Host Pat Sajak explained, "You know, this one's tough because you said all the right words, including the word 'word,' but as you know it's gotta be more or less continuous. We'll allow for a little pause but not four or five seconds. I'm sorry, you did a good job in getting it but we can't give you the prize." That prize just so happened to be an Audi Q3, which has a base price of $32,000.

Twitter was pretty outraged over the incident, with many fans calling on the show to give Charlene the car.

One person even went so far as to collect clips of contestants who solved puzzles correctly with a pause and still won. They even timed the pauses.

Because of the attention this is getting, Audi seems to be considering giving Charlene the car anyway.

Even though she didn't win the car, it was still a pretty good night for Charlene. She took home $16,500 plus a trip to St. Lucia.

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