While the game of Wheel of Fortune is simple enough on the whole, the rules can be laughably stringent. How many times have viewers heard longtime host Pat Sajak warn a contestant to not add any words when solving a puzzle (especially on those Crossword puzzles!)? Fans of the classic game show are pretty protective of such things, distinct rules included, so when a contestant recently was given credit for a mispronounced word in his answer — thus winning the game — viewers definitely had some things to say about it.
On the November 18, 2021, episode of Wheel of Fortune, the contestant Steven solved one puzzle with “Quality Craftsmanship.” One problem though — when giving his answer, he said, “Craftmanship” without the “S” included. Pronunciation is important in Wheel of Fortune, as understanding how to say a word is vital to knowing you understand how to spell the word, which is the crux of game. Twitter users were quick to point out the mistake.
The man on Wheel of Fortune today shouldn't have won. The last puzzle he said, "Quality craftmanship. He missed the "s" is craftsmanship. You can hear it if you listen closely. He should have gotten the buzz and the lady beside him should have gotten it.November 19, 2021
What’s more is that Steven had made the same mistake on an incorrect guess on a previous turn, guessing “Faulty Craftmanship,” again leaving out the “S” in “Craftsmanship.” Because Pat Sajak ultimately let the contestant get away with the mispronunciation, it seems like the host didn’t realize the mistake. But even if he had heard the incorrect usage with Steven’s previous guess, I don’t think there would have been a suitable way for Sajak to warn him.
Another Twitter user pointed out that Wheel of Fortune’s inconsistent enforcement of the rules takes opportunities away from other contestants.
@wheeloffortune just cheated a lady out of a spot in the bonus round by counting as correct a mispronounced answer. If you can't add an "and" to a crossword, you can't pronounce it wrong and get credit. #WheelOfFortuneNovember 19, 2021
As this fan pointed out, Steven’s win on the “Quality Craftsmanship” puzzle put him in first place, which otherwise would have been gone to another contestant. Steven was nearly $8,000 behind the eventual second-place finisher before that puzzle netted him $9,000 and sent him to the Bonus Round.
But while it was probably super disappointing for the contestant who got robbed, the blame shouldn’t fall on Steven himself. There was no ill intent, and he clearly knew the answer, even while unknowingly leaving out a letter. And some fans out there were even defending the lack of an S-sound in there.
Wheel of Fortune has been known to stick closely to its pronunciation rules in the past. On one infamously hilarious episode, a contestant lost his chance at the $1 million prize when he mispronounced “Mythological Hero Achilles.” Even Pat Sajak has admitted he’s not perfect, as he one time opened a contestant’s prize envelope before they had even attempted to solve the puzzle in the Bonus Round.
Other Wheel of Fortune gaffes are just plain funny — especially if they’re not coming at the expense of other contestants' winnings. One player drew some good-natured ribbing from fans when she gave hilariously wrong answers to two puzzles in the same episode. And one contestant’s answer of “The Best Buttercut,” rather than the correct “The Next Generation” baffled viewers and Pat Sajak alike!
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Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.