Pat Sajak is leaving Wheel of Fortune: Here are some of the show’s most ridiculous guesses

Longtime host Pat Sajak is retiring from his post after more than 40 years

Inga Parkel
New York
Friday 07 June 2024 19:03 BST
Hilarious accidental X-rated 'Wheel of Fortune' answer

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


Longtime Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak is retiring after presiding over the beloved game show for a whopping 41 years.

Sajak, 77, announced his departure last June, telling fans at the time: “It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all. (If nothing else, it’ll keep the clickbait sites busy!)”

In honor of the host’s final episode, which airs Friday night at 7:30 p.m., we’re looking back at some of the show’s best moments — and worst guesses — from the past four decades. You know, the ones that prompted shouting at the TV screen.

Whether they’re inappropriate answers or contestants simply struggling to solve an “easy” puzzle at all, here are some of the most ridiculous guesses from contestants ever.

Just two weeks ago, contestant Tavaris Williams went viral after he blurted out an X-rated guess. It was only minutes into the May 24 episode when Williams, who was up against two other competitors, made the unfortunate slip-up.

As letters to the puzzle began to quickly appear on the board, the contestants were tasked with deciphering the phrase using only a few characters.

Williams proved to be overhasty when he rang in and promptly guessed: “Right in the butt.” His answer left Sajak flabbergasted and the audience roaring with laughter.

Sajak swiftly moved on, calling on fellow contestant Blake, who correctly answered: “This is the best!”

In one of the show’s more shameful moments, contestants left viewers in complete “agony” after all three failed multiple times to guess a nearly solved puzzle correctly.

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On the 2022 episode, one of the contestants, Laura, was tasked with solving the puzzle: “Another feather in your cap.”

The puzzle was missing just a few key letters, but Laura still struggled to guess the final words to complete the well-known cliche, with her first guess being: “Another feather in your hat.”

Up next was contestant Christopher, who incorrectly guessed that the puzzle included a “G.”

The third contestant, Thomas, was left bankrupt by the spin of the wheel, with the game eventually circling back to Laura, who again guessed incorrectly when she suggested: “Another feather in your lap.”

It took a total of six failed attempts before Thomas finally guessed the correct phrase.

A mispronounced word leaves a fully solved puzzle up for grabs

One of the show’s rules that seems to controversially catch a few contestants here and there is that “when a contestant tries to solve a puzzle, they must pronounce it using the generally accepted pronunciation,” according to a Wheel of Fortune spokesperson.

Back in 2014, contestant Stephen had guessed all the correct letters in the puzzle: “Mythological hero Achilles.”

But when he went to solve the puzzle, he flubbed in pronouncing the name “Achilles” correctly. Following a brief and awkward silence, Sajak finally let him know that they weren’t able to accept his answer.

His competitor, Shelby, was then given the chance to correctly read out the puzzle to win the category.

An American patriotic anthem gets a rewrite

Wheel of Fortune makes you realize that some people really are living under a rock when it comes to pop culture.

During a 2022 episode, a contestant named Shafi – whom many on social media noted sounded like American actor Joe Pesci – made an incorrect guess that some have labeled “the dumbest Wheel of Fortune solve ever.”

After correctly adding a few letters to the board, Shafi was left with: “TH_S _AND _AS MADE FOR YOU AND ME.”

Instead of guessing the correct response: “This land was made for you and me,” the lyrics to Woody Guthrie’s 1951 song “This Land Is Your Land,” Shafi tossed out: “This band has made for you and me.”

Enough said.

Second time is not the charm

It’s understandable that some contestants are so focused on the prize that they forget everything else. That at least seemed to be the case for one contestant, Christine, in 2016.

During the episode, the contestants had to solve the toss-up puzzle under the “food & drink” category. As the letters began popping up at random, the first contestant buzzed in early to incorrectly guess “homemade waffles.”

That’s when Christine frantically jumped in to guess the exact same answer, “homemade waffles,” with Sajak responding: “Still not that.”

The right answer ended up being “homemade muffins.”

It was later reported that Christine had misheard the previous answer. Whatever the reason for her mishap, she’s still left her mark on Wheel of Fortune history.

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