Once again, a technicality has cost a Wheel of Fortune contestant a major prize. On Tuesday's episode, Charlene Rubush advanced to the Bonus Round with $16,500 and was tasked with solving a puzzle in the "What Are You Doing?" category. With just five blank spots left on the board, Rubush guessed "Choosing the right card," but when she was met with silence, she adjusted, guessing instead "Choosing the right... word!"
Rubush's guess came in right as the buzzer sounded, but her answer wasn't enough to secure her victory. "You know, this one's tough," said host Pat Sajak, as the audience booed off-camera. "Because you said all the right words, including the word 'word' but, as you know, it's gotta be more or less continuous. We'll allow for a little pause but not four or five seconds. I'm sorry."
Sajak revealed that Rubush's lengthy pause cost her an Audi Q3 ("Oh, man," he said, after revealing the prize), but at least she went home with $16,500 in prize money. That'll buy you almost half an Audi!
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.