Audi to Give Wheel of Fortune Contestant Ultimate Holiday Gift After She Lost Car on Technicality

After Wheel of Fortune fans took to Twitter to share their disappointment after a contestant's delayed yet correct answer lost her a brand-new Audi, the car company sprang into action.

By Emlyn Travis Dec 23, 2021 8:11 PMTags
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UPDATE: JK, Wheel of Fortune contestant Charlene Rubush has won a car after all!

After the Las Vegas resident lost out on a prize of a new Audi Q3 on Tuesday's episode due to a technicality, fans reached out to the vehicle manufacturer, who then decided to give her the ultimate holiday gift.

"You're a winner in our eyes, Charlene. Now, let's get you a prize. Time to #GiveHerTheQ3," Audi USA tweeted on Wednesday, Dec. 22, in response to Jeopardy! champ Alex Jacob, who'd posted in support of Rubush. The company added, "Alex, we're on a mission to #GiveHerTheQ3. Is there anything you could do to help us find Charlene?"

Audi USA late wrote, "There's no community like the Audi community. With your help, we tracked down Charlene! More to come as we help #GiveHerTheQ3."

"In the spirit of the holidays, we are thrilled to gift Charlene with an all-new Audi Q3," Tara Rush, Audi of America's chief marketing officer told E! News in a statement, providing a photo of the contestant's prize. "It is the season of giving after all and, technicality or not, we are always eager to share a bit of Audi magic and cheer!" 


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The wheel of fortune was not spinning in one contestant's favor this week. 

On Tuesday, Dec. 21, Wheel of Fortune contestant Charlene Rubush was at the top of her game when she made it to the Bonus Round of the show with $16,500 already in her pocket. Then, a delayed, yet correct answer to the final puzzle cost her to lose out on a brand-new Audi Q3.  

In the video clip, Rubush first incorrectly guesses the answer, then correctly solves it—but with a long pause in the middle—just as the buzzer dings. (For maximum confusion, the puzzle answer was "Choosing the right word.")

That long pause cost her everything. 

Audi USA

The show's host, Pat Sajak, was the one to break the bad news. "You know, this one's tough, because you said all the right words, including the word 'word,' but, as you know, it's gotta be more or less continuous," he explained.

He continued, "We'll allow for a little pause but not four or five seconds. I'm sorry. You did a good job in getting it, but we can't give you the prize." 

Then he opened the prize and announced, "And it was the Audi." 

Despite not being able to drive home in a new car, Rubush appeared joyful as she applauded at the end of the clip. However, viewers of the show last night weren't as pleased with its decision and took to Twitter to share their thoughts. 

"Come on @WheelofFortune , the woman literally chose the right word," Jeopardy! contestant Alex Jacobs wrote. "Give her the car." 

A second fan referenced the holiday season as a reason for the show to be extra giving, adding, "It's Christmas. Give her the Audi. #WheelofFortune" 

A third even suggested they would stop watching the show entirely after the decision. "Wheel of Fortune, you just lost a viewer. ‘I am choosing the right word' to never watch this show again," they commented. "I'm done! I'm with that lady. She deserves that Audi! That rule is the most dumbest thing ever! She had it right before the time was up!" 

E! News has reached out to Wheel of Fortune for comment. 

—Reporting by Meriam Bouarrouj

(Story originally published on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021 at 11:19 a.m. PT)