'll admit it: I am a big Wheel of Fortune fan. This is partly because the show lets me exercise my brain while simultaneously yelling at the television. But it's the rare but rewarding, unbelievably absurd solution guesses that make the show really worthwhile. Last week, one contestant fulfilled all of my wildest Wheel dreams with an incorrect solution to rival them all. Here, a look at this and five other fantastic Wheel of Fortune fails:
1. 'I Have the Wine'
Last week, Natasha Holly from Green Acres, Fla., reminded us that not everybody is familiar with the musical genius that is Johnny Cash. The solution to the puzzle was — to many watching at home — an obvious one: "I Walk the Line" is one of Cash's most famous songs. With $9,800 on the line and most of the letters revealed, Holly decided to solve the puzzle with "I Have the Wine by Johnny Cash." Nevermind that "H" and "E" were already on the board. Silence and then, "That is not correct, I'm sorry," says host Pat Sajak. Sometimes you have to wonder how he and letter-turner Vanna White keep it together.
2. Magic hand… band… yand?
You could not have asked for an easier Bonus Round puzzle, and Zach Barron from Reed College in Oregon could not for the life of him think of the right answer. When he finally shouted "Magic wand!" it was too late. "That 'and' looks so… 'andy,'" he told a befuddled Sajak. I feel for you, Zach, but whoever heard of a magic yand?
Even before she said it out loud, Lolita McAuley knew her answer was ridiculous. And immediately after the nonsense phrase "self-potato" left her mouth, she apologized. When her fellow contestant then guessed the right answer, "self-portrait," McAuley laughed out loud, as did everyone watching at home.
4. Life's a beach
Two extra letters, $30,000 down the drain. In 2008, contestant Becki Burrell knew the answer to the puzzle in front of her was "Gleaming white sandy beach," but she accidentally said "beaches," and lost the money, along with her pride.
5. Name that talk show host
Pronunciation is key, people. Three contestants found that out the hard way when none of them, after numerous attempts, and even when the all the letters in the puzzle were revealed, could correctly pronounce the names of talk show hosts Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa. Some variations included Regis Philburn, Regis Philman, and Kelly Reepa.
6. Superhero fail
For what it's worth, there is actually a Spider-Woman, but she wasn't part of the solution to the puzzle that sank a couple's shot at an $8,800 jackpot. Also, since when is "Spider-Woman" spelled "W-nder W--an"?
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Why atheism doesn't have the upper hand over religion
- The world's dumbest idea: Taxing solar energy
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- 14 wonderful words with no English equivalent
- Attack of the invasive species
- Which states get screwed worst by the Electoral College?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How Captain America won over China
- Why we can't stop procrastinating, according to science
Subscribe to the Week