Wheel of Fortune Contestant Wins $100K in Record-Breaking Moment

by Caitlin Berard

With Wheel of Fortune, anything can happen. Fortunes are made and lost in seconds, and every now and then, the most unsuspecting contestant hits the jackpot.

When speech-language pathologist Jinger Lough earned her place as a contestant on Wheel of Fortune, she had no idea that she would be part of the iconic game show’s history. On Thursday night’s episode of Wheel of Fortune, Jinger Lough made it to the bonus round with an already impressive $33,555 in winnings to her name. What happened next had fans’ jaws on the floor.

Things looked rough when Lough chose the “phrase” category, as she had only one correct letter on the board. Before Pat Sajak could finish laying out her options moving forward, however, Lough solved the puzzle, which spelled “on the bandwagon.”

In true Pat Sajak fashion, the iconic host opened the gold envelope in his hands with false annoyance to reveal a $100,000 prize for Jinger Lough. This impressive move increased her winnings four-fold, putting her total prize money at $133,555.

On their social media accounts, Wheel of Fortune revealed that Lough’s victory pushed this season to a record seven $100,000 winners. “WHEEL FIRST: Jinger is our 7th $100,000 winner of the season!” the Wheel of Fortune Instagram post read. “That’s the most of ANY season of Wheel!”

Fans were shocked but overjoyed at the Wheel of Fortune contestant’s good luck. “What a solve! Jinger wins the $100k!” one wrote. “She solved it as Pat was trying to comfort her because he thought it would be difficult. Great job, Jinger!” another said.

‘Wheel of Fortune’ Fans in Disbelief Over Contestant’s ‘Careless Mistake’

Last night’s episode of Wheel of Fortune proved extremely fortuitous for Jinger Lough, who was able to keep a cool head and solve a tricky puzzle with ease. Not all Wheel of Fortune contestants are quite as self-possessed, however, and over-excitement can easily lead to heartbreak.

That exact scenario is what happened to poor Amy Higgins, whose excitement to be on Wheel of Fortune led to an embarrassing misstep. Throughout the episode, Amy’s moves were so nonsensical that fans questioned if she knew the rules. At one point, Pat Sajak had to pause the game in an effort to calm the contestant, suggesting Amy shake her hands and collect herself.

Though Amy made several mistakes throughout the evening, the biggest came when she spun the wheel and landed on a trip to Hawaii. Rather than taking a moment to consider her answer, she blurted out a letter that was already on the board.

Wheel of Fortune fans were in utter disbelief over the mistake, taking to Twitter to discuss the contestant’s inattention. “Such a careless mistake…losing the chance for a million and a trip to Hawaii by calling an existing letter…Amy,” one wrote.