Often on Wheel of Fortune, the difference between a huge loss or an epic win comes down to a single consonant or vowel. If you make the right call, you could find the clue you need to solve that high-value puzzle and walk away with a wad of cash and maybe even a vacation. However, if those squares don’t light up and Vanna White doesn’t come to fill in those blanks, your bank could look just as empty as that board.
Of course, every contestant on Wheel of Fortune knows how thin the line is between victory and bankruptcy. That’s why they have to use a bit of strategy to narrow down their choices of letters for each puzzle. During the regular rounds of the game, that might mean trying to identify the most frequently occurring letter to get the most money. Or, opting not to call out any vowels to avoid losing money.
Other times, however, the right guess happens simply from good luck. According to contestant Giovanni Danza, that’s exactly what happened when he chose a crucial vowel in the Bonus Puzzle that directly led to his final victory. Danza revealed that he was a former marathon runner and hockey player. More recently, the New Jersey contestant married “Dr. Alyssa” and surely hoped to bring home his bride a post-wedding gift of a hunk of cash.
Watch Danza make a “useful” choice in the clip below.
‘Wheel of Fortune’ Contestant Nearly Fills in Entire Puzzle with Letter Choices Before Solving
After choosing consonants “F,” C” and “D,” the Wheel of Fortune contestant opted for a rare vowel choice in Bonus Puzzles. While most guests tend to go for more common vowels like “A” and “O,” hoping that they’ll be more prevalent in the puzzle and thus reveal the answer, Danza chose the often-overlooked “U.”
Perhaps subconsciously he recognized the pattern of letters, but once the letters lit up the board, Danza seemed just as pleasantly surprised as host Pat Sajak.
Sajak himself could barely contain his excitement for the guest, knowing full well that Danza would quickly figure out the answer. On the board, the “Thing” phrase read: __ USEFUL DE__ __ CE.
Without a moment’s hesitation, the Wheel of Fortune filled in the remaining three letters of the puzzle, calling out “A Useful Device.”
“Did you know it before you were calling the letters?” Sajak asked incredulously.
“No, I did not,” Danza answered with a huge grin on his face.
Thanks to Danza’s smart picks, he won himself an extra $39,000 which brought his Wheel of Fortune grand total to $66,500. On top of his cash prize, the newly contestant also brought home a trip to Maui to Dr. Alyssa waiting for him at home.