Game show fans caused a small uproar after Wheel of Fortune contestant Charlene Rubush lost the bonus round of last night’s episode on a technicality.
Rubush’s category was “What Are You Doing?” and on her guess the board read the board read “_H__SING THE RIGHT __RD.”
Her first guess, “choosing the right card,” was close. Seconds later, Rubush corrected. Choosing the right,” she paused in contemplation, “word.” Rubush completed her answer as time ran out, meaning she was unable to correct her delivery.
“This one’s tough,” host Pat Sajack explained after receiving the answer, “because you said all the right words, including the word ‘word’ but, as you know, it’s gotta be more or less continuous.” Sajack then revealed the lost prize: a new car.
A video shared by Alex Jacob — the former Jeopardy! champion — and calling on the show to overturn its ruling shows the contested moment on the show.
The call sparked a viral uproar as viewers shared their disagreement with the ruling under the hashtag #choosetherightword. One fan even shared they would boycott the show if she was not awarded the car.
Another mocked the ironic answer, saying “I can’t choose the right ‘word’ to explain how the Wheel of Fortune just took the Audi away from the person who correctly got the puzzle right but lost on a technicality.”
Many More viewers are calling for Sajack’s ruling to be overturned, with one calling it the “worst ruling in Wheel of Fortune history”
Former winner Robert Santoli posted a video on Twitter looking at the length of times between other close calls in the show’s history. Santoli measured Rubush’s pause at 4.971 secs, much longer than other pauses called in favor of the contestant in past episodes.
In response to Jacob’s post, Santoli suggests Sajack made a call consistent with the rules of the show
Despite the loss, however unjust, Rubush did leave the show with $16,500 in prize money.