Wheel of Fortune is a game show with very specific rules, ones that must be followed in order to win. That’s the case for all games and especially game shows, but it does mean that when the rules are not followed on simple things, they can be extra devastating.
Remembering what a vowel is, for starters, is important. But following rules is not without controversy on The Wheel. Just last week, viewers were incensed when they thought they heard a contestant say a different letter than one host Pat Sajak had Vanna White reveal on the puzzle. But when it’s close, the people at Wheel of Fortune check the tape to make sure they get it right. There are no mistakes, just those made by the people on the dais. And that’s exactly what happened to Kristen on Friday’s episode, who lost big when she added an extra word to her solve.
When she gets control of the board, it looks like this.
She gets an R, buys an I, and adds a G. Things are going well, but they get even better when a wheel spin lands her a trip to Nashville. An H gets her a trip worth more than $8,000, but only if she can solve the puzzle. One spin (and a wild card, to boot) gets her an S and it looks like she can wrap this up if she knows the top word.
She asks to solve, and then disaster strikes around the 6:20 mark of the video below.
“Say everything, don’t add anything, go ahead,” Sajak said when she announces that she’d like to solve.
“Right, football, left and Sally,” Kristen says, which is incorrect. So what’s the problem here? The fill-in-the-blank categories require you to simply read off what fills in the blank, with no added words. The “and” here kills her, and makes her answer wrong. Bryan immediately got the puzzle right by reading off the words without the conjunction,
“Most times I caution people not to add anything, and you maybe didn’t even hear yourself say it but you threw an ‘and’ in there with the last thing and we have to go by the rules,” Sajak said after giving Bryan the win. Kristen seems to take the bad beat here pretty well, all things considered. But it’s another reminder that on Wheel of Fortune, the rules matter above all else. Even if you know what the puzzle says.