Worst Wheel of Fortune Fail? Contestant Loses Thousands of Dollars Mispronouncing Solved Puzzle

You say "flamingo," I say "flamenco"

By Chris Harnick Apr 10, 2018 4:11 PMTags

This looked like it hurt. On the Monday, April 9 episode of Wheel of Fortune a contestant lost thousands of dollars—and the puzzle was already solved!

He added the last letter to the puzzle, a "D" and all Jonny needed to do was say "Flamenco Dance Lessons." He tried.

He said, "Flamingo Dance Lessons." Host Pat Sajak paused, and then came the buzzer. Jonny lost more than $7,000 in prize money. Another contestant, Ashley, got a turn. "Alright, I'll solve?" she said, also somewhat confused. "Flamenco Dance Lessons," she said.

"There you go, she's got it. To explain, what we all heard was…you gave us a ‘g' instead of a ‘c,'" Sajak told a bewildered Jonny. Sajak said they'd review the footage during commercial, but they all heard the mispronunciation.

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After the break, Sajak said it Jonny's slip up was clearly unintentional, but "you have to kind of go by the rules," so the scoring stands as it is.

This isn't the first time a mispronunciation has cost a game show contestant some dough. In January 2018 a contestant lost money for mispronouncing "gangsta" on Jeopardy. There was another famous Jeopardy ding when judges deemed a contestant mispronounced Elaine, as in Julia Louis-Dreyfus' character from Seinfeld.

UPDATE April 11: Airbnb offered Jonny a free trip to Spain (complete with flamenco lessons) and he has accepted: "After filming, it took some time to process what just happened," Jonny said in a statement provided by Airbnb. "One month later, after an incredibly crazy day, I found out I'm getting a chance to go on the trip thanks to Airbnb, and I couldn't be any more excited to flamenco dance the night away in Spain!"

What do you make of Jonny's Wheel fail? Wheel of Fortune airs in syndication. Check your local listings.