Solving a puzzle on Wheel of Fortune can be a life-changing event. Whether it’s a small fortune or a luxurious vacation on the line, for Wheel of Fortune contestants, solving a puzzle and winning the ensuing prize is the most exciting thing that can happen on the show.
On a recent episode of Wheel of Fortune, one contestant was so delighted by her ability to solve a tough puzzle that she interrupted Pat Sajak mid-sentence. And with $100,000 at stake, who could blame her?
Speech-pathologist Jinger Lough was doing well in Wheel of Fortune, making it to the bonus round with $33,555 in her bank. Just when it appeared she might win big, however, she encountered a difficult challenge. After selecting the “phrase” category, she had only one correct letter on the board.
Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak was quick to commiserate with his contestant. “Well, um, the bad news is, none of the consonants are there,” he said. “Just those two Os. I don’t know.”
“There’s a used letter board, you can…” It was there that Pat Sajak was cut off, however, as Jinger Lough yelled out, “On the bandwagon?” which turned out to be the correct answer. Snarky as ever (in the best way, of course), Pat Sajak replied, “…or you could just solve the puzzle. That would be the easy way to do it.”
This quick thinking on Jinger’s part led to the contestant winning a staggering $100,000 prize, putting her total winnings at $133,555. Wheel of Fortune fans were highly impressed by Jinger Lough’s performance. However, they couldn’t help but point out that she didn’t wait for the timer to start before giving her answer.
Pat Sajak Attempted to Calm a ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Contestant After a ‘Careless Mistake’
While excitement can lead to positive outbursts, like Jinger Lough’s major win, it can also make strategizing difficult and lead to obvious mistakes. One Wheel of Fortune contestant was so thrilled to be on the show that she got carried away and guessed a letter that was already on the board.
Amy Higgins started strong. After guessing “N,” she received a $1,000 camping gift card and $1,500 in prize money. When she spun the wheel and landed on a Hawaiian vacation, however, her excitement got the better of her. Higgins guessed “C,” a letter that another player had guessed incorrectly moments before.
To make matters worse, it’s not as if Wheel of Fortune expects its contestants to remember others’ guesses. The “Used Letter Board” offstage displays incorrect answers to prevent this type of mistake from happening. The embarrassing error caused Higgins to lose her turn, the trip to Hawaii, and thousands in winnings.
“That’s just been called. Sorry,” a bemused Pat Sajak said to the Wheel of Fortune contestant. He then offered her a moment to collect herself so she might approach future puzzles with a clearer head.