Wheel of Fortune Contestants Misinterpret Puzzle Answer, Resulting in Halted Celebration

Wheel of Fortune Contestants Misinterpret Puzzle Answer, Resulting in Halted Celebration

During a recent episode of Wheel of Fortune, host Pat Sajak found himself in an awkward situation when contestants prematurely celebrated an incorrect puzzle answer.

The incident occurred as Rufus Cumberlander confidently guessed the answer to a toss-up puzzle, prompting an enthusiastic celebration from him and his fellow contestants, Luidgi Altidor and Cynthia King.

The Puzzle

The contestants were presented with a phrase puzzle: ‘_ _ N ‘ _ _ _ _ K A _ _ _.’ Despite King’s attempt to solve the puzzle, she was unable to do so, leaving the opportunity for her opponents to respond.

Cumberlander, displaying confidence, shouted ‘DON’T LOOK AWAY’, prompting a fist bump from Altidor in apparent agreement.


Despite Sajak’s repeated assertions that the answer was incorrect, the trio continued their celebration, seemingly unaware of their mistake.

It wasn’t until a buzzer sounded, indicating an incorrect answer, that they realized their error. The correct answer, ‘CAN’T LOOK AWAY,’ was revealed, prompting disbelief from the contestants.

Intervention by Pat Sajak

Sajak, with a touch of humor, reminded the contestants that their premature celebration had resulted in an incorrect answer.

He jokingly remarked, ‘Everybody’s congratulating everybody, and WE get to keep the money!!’ Despite the mishap, King, who had won the two previous puzzles, was awarded points for the segment.

Outcome and Contestant Background

In the end, King emerged victorious in Monday night’s episode, taking home a total of $19,390. Notably, all three contestants had previously appeared on the show, with King making her most recent appearance in February.

Cumberlander made his Wheel of Fortune debut in 2015, while Altidor joined the show in 2020. The episode was part of the Fan Favorites Week, featuring returning contestants.

Reflection on the Incident

The incident serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of live television and the importance of careful attention to detail, even in moments of excitement.

Despite the setback, the contestants took the mishap in good humor, highlighting the camaraderie among participants on game shows like Wheel of Fortune.

Continued Legacy of Wheel of Fortune

Despite occasional mishaps, Wheel of Fortune continues to captivate audiences with its blend of entertainment and suspense.

The show’s enduring popularity underscores its status as a television staple, with its iconic format and charismatic hosts keeping viewers engaged week after week.

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