‘Wheel of Fortune’: One Contestant Once Won the Million-Dollar Wedge, Then Lost It

by Madison Miller

Game shows can be a pretty rewarding environment to be in.

From getting to prove intelligence to millions of viewers to also winning thousands of dollars, contestants have a lot of opportunities in front of them.

However, sometimes it can be just as disappointing. Whether it’s making a stupid mistake in the heat of the moment or losing out on bringing home even more money.

For one “Wheel of Fortune” contestant, a million dollars was literally taken from her hands in 2011. The contestant, Nykky, landed on the million-dollar spot on the wheel. The puzzle was “Basking in the warm sunshine.” After she landed on the million-dollar wedge, she only had three letters left to fill in.

She happened to guess the wrong letter and that million dollars quickly slipped from her grasps.

Surely, it’s not the only time someone has missed out on getting a million dollars on “Wheel of Fortune.” However, it is a reminder of just how stressful and sometimes disappointing the show can be, both for contestants and viewers watching at home.

Some contestants have missed millions after failing to know that answer to the final bonus round puzzle. Also common is a contestant mispronouncing something or not reading the final answer to the puzzle correctly. There have so far only been about three contestants on “Wheel of Fortune” that have walked away with a million dollars.

It’s likely that Nykky still stays up at night thinking about her time on the show. Those three missing letters and “Basking in the warm sunshine” must haunt her.

Recent Contestant on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

A recent contestant on “Wheel of Fortune,” David Pederson, suffered from a longstanding rule on the show.

An often hated rule of the show is that contestants can’t add any small words to the puzzle. So if a contestant adds a word like “and,” they lose, even if the rest of the statement was correct.

The answer to a puzzle last Wednesday was “Sole, flounder, cod, catfish.” Pederson was instinctively grammatically correct in his response and instead said, “Sole, flounder, cod, and catfish.” He was told his answer was incorrect by Pat Sajak.

According to Entertainment Weekly, viewers of that episode were quick to get on Pederson’s side. Social media users called out the show for being so strict. “‘Wheel of Fortune’s draconian rule where you lose if you add ‘and’ to the crossword puzzle has to go,” said one person online.

Meanwhile, other people sided with “Wheel of Fortune” for the small controversy. One social media wrote in response, “The rules are to read only what’s on the board. It’s really very simple.”