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Wheel Of Fortune Fans Inspired Amazing Response From Audi After Complaints About Long Pause Ruling

Pat Sajak hosts Wheel of Fortune.
(Image credit: CBS)

Wheel of Fortune fans have saved Christmas! Okay, maybe that’s taking it a little too far, but they definitely helped make one former contestant’s holiday a lot brighter. Viewers were outraged when Charlene Rubush answered the bonus puzzle correctly, but was refused her vehicular prize from Audi, as longtime host Pat Sajak cited a little-known and rarely used rule regarding long pauses during answers. Audi heard their cries, however, and had an amazing response to the controversy.

The rule that drew the ire of Wheel of Fortune fans — and even one Jeopardy! champion — was that the reading of the puzzle’s answer ("Choosing The Right Word") needed to be “more or less continuous,” according to Pat Sajak, whereas Charlene Rubush took what was deemed to be too long of a pause before saying the last word. Twitter was ignited over her loss of the Audi Q3, as she did say all the correct words in the correct order before her 10 seconds were up. Audi took notice of the hubbub and offered its own reaction, too, by tweeting in agreement that Rubush was a winner.

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In the end, she did indeed win a new car! Audi tweeted that Charlene Rubush totally deserved the prize she was denied on Wheel of Fortune, and with the help of the Audi community, and presumably someone from the TV show's staff, the company was able to track her down. What a heartwarming story to hear during the holidays. Audi teased more updates to come, so hopefully the fans that helped make it happen will be kept up to date on how and when the contestant will receive her car.

Audi went on to share various responses with grateful fans, many of whom seemed elated about this latest development. The company told Twitter users that giving Charlene Rubush the car was the least it could do, and thanked other commenters who shared their positive Audi experiences. When one fan told Audi, “I’m not crying, you’re crying,” the car company tweeted in agreement:

We’re definitely crying.

Some people even said the kind gesture was enough to make them consider an Audi as their next purchase. One commenter said if the car company followed through on their promise, they’d buy that Q3 they’d had their eye on. Audi responded:

Looks like you're buying yourself a Q3. Happy holidays.

Charlene Rubush may have secured the car that she arguably should have already won, but it looks like Audi is the big winner here. Fans are definitely impressed with the company’s response, but it seems like more than just a savvy PR move by Audi to make right what Wheel of Fortune possibly got wrong. The way that the car company's social media team took time to respond to so many Wheel of Fortune viewers and Audi fans made it really seem like they were enjoying being able to spread that holiday cheer. 

We’ll definitely be keeping our eye out for more heart-warming news on the Audi Q3 situation, and in the meantime check your local listings to see when you can catch Wheel of Fortune in your market. You can also take a look at our 2022 TV Schedule to see what shows are coming up in the new year.

Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.