'Wheel Of Fortune' Accused Of Unfair Treatment Of Player With Accent

By Dave Basner

May 4, 2023

Photo: Getty Images

Fans of Wheel of Fortune know that the game show has very strict rules when it comes to solving the puzzles. Contestants have previously lost because they've added a word or even a sound. This can get a little difficult though if a player is at all hard to understand. For that reason, producers ask all contestants to speak incredibly clearly and enunciate each word when they solve. If you listen to how many players do it, you can hear how deliberate they are being with their articulation. Well on Wednesday's show, one contestant may have solved some puzzles correctly but was ruled wrong by the show, and some viewers think it's because of her accent.

Things got off to a rough start for Neetu Varshney, a former math teacher from New Jersey. During the toss-up puzzle after the introductions, she rang in to solve a puzzle that showed "A_ / A / _ _ _ MENT'S / _OT_ _E." Neetu guessed what sounded to many like "At A Moment's Notice," but to others, including the judges, it sounded like "In A Moment's Notice." Pat ruled her incorrect and another contestant rang in, solved it and won $2,000. Pat then explained to Neetu, "Almost got it but it's 'at' a moment's notice."

Since there was already an A in the first word, some fans doubted Neetu said "in" and felt she was misheard and unfairly penalized because of her accent. They took to Twitter to express their frustration. One wrote, "Neetu got screwed!! Clean your ears, Pat!!" while another stated, "Neetu got robbed on that puzzle solve! Booo!" Someone else said, "@WheelofFortune I am calling you out tonight! During the 2nd toss-up the woman on the right with the accent guessed it correctly and because Pat couldn't understand her accent he told her she was wrong." Another agreed, "Neetu answered correctly. She has an accent @WheelofFortune."

It wasn't the only puzzle Neetu missed out on though. On the very first toss-up, under the category of Landmark, the board showed "MA_L / OF / A_E_ICA" and she seemed to guess "Mail Of America." Some people were sure she got that one right too, since after responding she looked off-stage somewhat shocked she was wrong. One person had her back, tweeting, "NEETU LEGIT SAID TWO PUZZLES CORRECTLY AND YALL TOLD HER SHE WAS WRONG. IT'S HER ACCENT— BOTH PUZZLES SHE WAS CORRECT ON!!! Y’all robbed her, that ain’t right at all." However, after the puzzle was correctly solved by a competitor, she seemed to react by realizing her mistake and saying, "Oh."

Whatever went down on the show, many fans want Neetu brought back and given another chance.

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