‘Wheel Of Fortune’ Contestant Lost A Fully-Solved Puzzle Because She Mispronounced “Congenial”

This Wheel of Fortune slip-up wasn’t what it looked like, but rather what it sounded like.

On Wednesday night’s (Jan. 3) episode of the hit game show, contestant Shauna Williams completed the “Same Letter” category, per Entertainment Weekly. Once Vanna White flipped the final letter to read “Congenial Company & Clever Conversation,” co-host Pat Sajak chimed in.

“Shauna, would you read what’s up there, please?” he prompted.

Ultimately, Williams mispronounced the word “congenial,” preventing Sajak from accepting the answer. He then granted the turn to Steve Sporre, who correctly pronounced the answer, and earned $1,000 for winning the round, per TV Insider. Sajak apologized to Williams for her phonetic faux pas.

Fans flocked to X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) to share their thoughts on the unfortunate incident. Some were in disbelief, as one viewer wrote, “That can happen!?” Another thought Williams’ guess “was close enough,” adding that they were “mad she didn’t get paid.”

Others reiterated this sentiment, feeling that it was “an honest mistake,” while some remained perplexed by Williams’ pronunciation. Some even came after Sporre for stealing the puzzle, as one wrote, “Am I the only person who isn’t a fan of Steve?”

According to TV Insider, Williams was ultimately awarded $1,000 after wrapping up the game with no money, and deemed competing on the show to be her “dream.”

This certainly isn’t the only instance where fans have questioned answers that Sajak accepts or refuses online. On the contrary, back in October, fans were stunned when Sajak accepted the plural “nuts” as opposed to the correct, singular form of “nut” in a puzzle.

Wheel of Fortune airs on weeknights at 7:30/6:30c. Check out their website for your local listings.