Pat Sajak Slams "Wheel of Fortune" Fans Who Think the Show is "Fixed"
"I’d like them all to win, but I draw the line at serving prison time."
Contestants have been so successful on Wheel of Fortune this week that some viewers are suspicious that something is going on behind the scenes. For three episodes in a row, a contestant has won the top prize of $100,000 during the bonus round. A streak like this has never happened before in the show's 39 seasons, which led some viewers to ponder whether the show was making this happen on purpose.
That's not the case, according to host Pat Sajak, who took to Twitter to shoot down any conspiracy theorists after only two days in a row of $100K winners. Read on to see the host's response and to find out more about the record-setting winnings.
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The streak started on Monday.
On Monday's episode, Lisa Kramer made it to the bonus round, solved the puzzle, and found out she chose the $100,000 prize card out of the 24 cards available. On Tuesday's episode, the same thing happened with contestant Mark Baer. Even that was enough to surprise Sajak, make headlines for the show, and get people talking about a possible conspiracy.
"Wouldn't ya know it, I just sold all my confetti stock," Sajak joked on the show as confetti rained down on Baer. "Well, even after almost 40 years, new things happen around here." He added, "We'll see you next time. Let's go for three."
In a video with his daughter, Maggie Sajak, who is Wheel of Fortune's social correspondent, Sajak explained of choosing the $100K envelope, "There are 24 [spaces], which means you have a 4% chance of landing on the $100,000, a little over 4%, and of course the odds are even greater because you have to solve a puzzle."
Then, a third contestant won the big prize.
On Wednesday, Sajak's "let's go for three" wish actually came true when contestant Bree Yokouchi also won the $100,000 prize. "Who's going to book my trip to Vegas?" Sajak said when he opened the prize card, revealing the $100,000 win. He then jokingly walked off stage. "That's it. I'm out of here," he said.
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Sajak tweeted that the show wasn't fixed.
After the first two top prize wins, Sajak took to Twitter to explain that the show wasn't fixed, for anyone who was positing the back-to-back wins might have been planned out.
"A quick reminder to conspiracy theorists: thanks to the quiz show scandals of the 1950s, fixing a TV game show is a federal crime. I really like our players, and I'd like them all to win, but I draw the line at serving prison time," Sajak wrote on Feb. 9.
Sajak also replied to a Twitter user who suggested that he and co-host Vanna White open up all the cards during an episode to prove to people that there is really only one $100,000 card. Sajak replied, "Anyone silly enough to believe in things like that cannot be convinced of anything. It would be a total waste of time. I love how one day we're 'robbing' players of their winnings and then we're 'allowing' them to win. Some folks just have a conspiratorial nature. Best to ignore."
A couple months ago, fans were claiming the show was unfair for another reason.
In his tweet, Sajak referenced viewers who were angry about a situation that happened in December. Some fans were annoyed that contestant Charlene Rubush did not win an Audi car in the bonus round because she paused too long between the words in her answer.
"You know, this one's tough because you said all the right words," Sajak explained to Rubush. "But, as you know, it's got to be, more or less, continuous. We'll allow for a little pause, but not four or five seconds. I'm sorry, you did a good job in getting it, but we can't give you the prize."
This led to backlash from some viewers. And even the car company itself got in on the action, promising that it would be giving Rubush a car to make up for the close call.