‘Wheel of Fortune’ Contestant Once Left Pat Sajak ‘Fooled’ Failing Simple Bonus Round Puzzle

by John Jamison

“Wheel of Fortune” will go down in history as one of the most entertaining game shows of all time. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Whether or not the contestants win, the potential for a hilarious or unbelievable moment exists around every turn. In the case of Zach Barron back in 2012, both of those words are appropriate descriptors.

The young man lived out what will probably go down as the most embarrassing moment of life in front of a national TV audience. And worse still, his mom, girlfriend, and two good friends were there in person to watch the drama unfold.

Everything was going so well for Zach. But over the course of 10 seconds, he earned his place on the “Wheel of Fortune” wall of shame. It’s a figurative wall, of course. But if you’ve spent any amount of time watching the long-running game show, you know exactly how one ends up there.

Zach’s Bonus Round on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

The category for Zach’s bonus round was “thing.” Seems pretty straightforward. The only letter given for the two-word phrase was an “N,” but that didn’t matter. Why? Because not only were the three consonants and one vowel that Zach named in the phrase, he also had a wildcard that hit the mark.

That’s right. Zach had revealed seven out of the nine letters that made up the “Wheel of Fortune” puzzle. “MAG_C _AND,” the phrase read.

“Boy, he called the right letters, didn’t he? It’s a thing. You have 10 seconds. Can he do it?” Pat Sajak said, probably chalking it up as a win. But then the clock started.

“Magic hand, magic band, magic… yand, sand, vand, cand, jand, pand, fand, band,” Zach fired off, trying to find the magic answer. Finally, a split second after the buzzer sounded, he got it. Wand, obviously, is what he was looking for.

“Uhh…wow… I- yeah, I- you had that sound in your mind. I’m sorry, you fooled me with that one. I didn’t think it was going to happen. Wow. Well, it’s a weird game and you just never know. I’m really sorry,” the “Wheel of Fortune” host said, right before he showed Zach how sorry he was by revealing that the young man just missed out on a new Prius.

Zach Took the Loss Like a Champ

While Zach missed out on a brand new car, the day wasn’t a complete loss. He did come away from the show with $19,950. And he owned up to his blunder.

Zach even gave a few comments to the New York Intelligencer following his “Wheel of Fortune” appearance.

“I had an exciting day and came away significantly less in debt. We all have our dumb and embarrassing moments; mine just came with a lot of money and a huge audience” he said.