(NewsReady.com) – Since 1975, contestants on the “Wheel of Fortune” game show have been spinning the wheel and solving puzzles to win cash and prizes. While most people associate host Pat Sajak and letter-turner Vanna White with the franchise, Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford were actually the first faces on the show. In the early ‘80s, Sajak and White joined the program, and they’ve been the host and hostess ever since. Recently, the game show met with some backlash after many thought they heard a contestant erroneously lose out on $100,000.
On April 6, Texas Woman’s University student Alexa Hoekstra spun the wheel, making it all the way to the final round. According to The Western Journal, she’d already won about $20,000, but was going for big money. In order to win the final puzzle, a contestant must reveal the correct words within 10 seconds. After choosing her letters, Sajak started the clock, and Hoekstra started guessing.
The winning phrase on the board was “just winging it,” but the college student guessed everything but. However, her first answer was “just winning it,” which many thought sounded like the correct answer. When the timer ran down, she lost, and many took to social media crying foul.
@WheelofFortune I think you folks just denied this girl $100k …I sure heard “Just Winging It”… pic.twitter.com/km8B2HGXgM
— Gord Garrity (@Gord_Garrity) April 6, 2023
Although a lot of people thought they heard Hoekstra say the correct phrase, with some even calling for Sajak’s retirement, the college student didn’t seem to think she said the proper answer. After the 10 seconds passed, the host said she was “right there,” and she responded with “so close.”
In an interview with her college, Hoekstra said she’s been watching the show her whole life and was excited to be part of the show. She said everyone was very kind, and being on the program was a “wonderful experience.” The young woman stated she was thinking about trying her hand at “Jeopardy” next.
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