Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak couldn’t help but laugh after a contestant whiffed on a basic geography question.
The incident started after a husband and wife team won a trip after solving a puzzle that read “Gondola Ride Through Venice.”
Sajak was curious if the couple had paid attention in middle school. “Let’s check your geography knowledge,” he said. “What country do you think we’re sending you to?”
“Paris,” the contestant answered. “France!” he then blurted out.
What seemed to make Sajak laugh, though, wasn’t the wrong answers. It was the man’s wife, who at first looked mortified then worried.
“Do we still get it?” she asked Sajak, sheepishly.
Sajak literally doubled over laughing. “Apparently you know your husband well,” he said when he finally composed himself.
For those of you playing at home, Venice is in Italy. And yes, they got to keep the prize.
‘Wheel Of Fortune’ Has Had Spectacular Fails
In 2012, a contestant named Zach Barron made it to the bonus round. After Wheel of Fortune gifted him the standard R, S, T, L, N, and E, Zach picked D, C, M, and A. This left the puzzle almost entirely solved. It read “MAG_C / _AND”
“Boy, he called the right letters, didn’t he? … Can he do it?” Pat Sajak said, probably preparing to celebrate. But then Zach took things in an unexpected direction.
“Magic hand, magic band, magic… yand, sand, vand, cand, jand, pand, fand, band,” Zach fired off, trying nearly every consonant he could think of that might also be magic. Finally, a split second after the buzzer sounded, he got it. Magic Wand was the obvious answer.
“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. Then he revealed that Zach had missed out on winning a new Toyota Prius.
But Zach is no dummy. He just plays one on TV. He walked away with nearly $20,000 from his winnings earlier in the night.
Zach spoke with the New York Intelligencer after the loss and had a great attitude about it.
“I had an exciting day and came away significantly less in debt,” he said. “We all have our dumb and embarrassing moments; mine just came with a lot of money and a huge audience.”