Image via Sony Pictures Television

Audi gives ‘Wheel of Fortune’ contestant car despite losing on a technicality

Charlene Rubush lost out an Audi Q3 due to an esoteric technicality in the rules that left fans of the game show up in arms.

Sometimes organized viral outrage works. After causing a commotion online that the game show Wheel of Fortune and carmaker Audi couldn’t ignore, former contestant Charlene Rubush will receive the car she lost on a technicality—but it’s not because Wheel of Fortune changed its controversial ruling.

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During the bonus round of Tuesday night’s episode, Rubush entered the games bonus round with the category “What Are You Doing?” But while the answer she delivered in the literal final second, ironically “Choosing the right word,” was correct, her delivery was filled with a four-second pause, breaking the long-running show’s rules that contestants must deliver answers continuously. 

The rule has been invoked in similar instances in the past, as pointed out by a former contestant on Twitter.

After host Pat Sajak called the answer on the technicality, he revealed to the vitriol of viewers that Rubush’s error cost her an Audi Q3. The end of the episode sparked an immediate viral backlash from fans and viewers, demanding the ruling change or that the German carmaker at least award the car to Rubush. 

Yesterday evening, Audi’s official Twitter account retweeted the viral video at the center of the Twitter storm with delightful news for upset fans. “You’re a winner in our eyes, Charlene,” the tweet reads, “Now, let’s get you a prize.”

The brand’s Twitter account replied to other tweets imploring the carmaker right Rubush’s stolen victory. “She deserves that Audi, and she’s getting that Audi,” reads one response.

And hours later, Audi’s Twitter account shared that they had gotten in touch with Rubush: “There’s no community like the Audi community. With your help, we tracked down Charlene!”

Rubush already left the show with $16,500 in prize money.


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Autumn Wright
Autumn Wright is an anime journalist, which is a real job. As a writer at We Got This Covered, they cover the biggest new seasonal releases, interview voice actors, and investigate labor practices in the global industry. Autumn can be found biking to queer punk through Brooklyn, and you can read more of their words in Polygon, WIRED, The Washington Post, and elsewhere.