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Wheel of Fortune Contestant Guesses Puzzle with Two Letters, Stuns Pat Sajak

A very lucky, very talented Wheel of Fortune contestant named Emil DeLeon has achieved a feat that inspires not only word-game-fan jealousy in me, but even more admiration.

Wheel of Fortune was a big deal in my house growing up. My grandmother watched it every night — a half-hour of Wheel, then a half-hour of Jeopardy. I’m old enough to remember (dimly, okay?) Chuck Woolery as the host before Pat Sajak took over. I do not remember life before Vanna, because really, why would I try to do that? A Wheel without Vanna is not really a Wheel at all.

My father and I watched the show together, too. The competition in our living room was intense, as we lived vicariously through the contestants’ free spins and weird prizes and bad guesses and bought vowels and, sadly, the occasional bankrupt. All the while we yelled out guesses, trying to beat the people on the screen to the solving punch, for absolutely no money or fame, but our own sense of personal accomplishment that probably took us through dinnertime. These experiences not only promoted a certain kind of family bonding, but they ignited a serious competitive nature in me that is specifically reserved for games that involve words and any kind of time constraint.

This is what happens when your grandma and your dad don’t let you win unless it’s on your own steam. I have to say it’s served me well, both in SAT verbal score and thwarting many a Scattergories opponent.

Now look what Emil did yesterday:

wheel-of-fortune-new-baby-buggy-unsolved

 

 

wheel-of-fortune-new-baby-buggy

Yep. He guessed “NEW BABY BUGGY” in only two seconds, on his first guess, when the luck of the Wheel of Fortune draw only spotted him the “N” and the “E.” When Vanna came up with no more letters than those, Sajak and Emil looked at her expectantly, but that was all she had. Whoops.

“This looks tough to me!” said Pat. “You’re a very good puzzle solver, but I don’t know …” Showed Sajak, I guess.

This is a remarkable feat. I mean, you can definitely assume “NEW” in this scenario, but there are a lot of new things! New things that surely have four and five letters respectively. And to even more specifically challenge yourself by naming “NEW” things that lack the letters he picked, besides the ones Wheel of Fortune gives you? This looked like a definite loss. I would have considered Emil’s potential $45,000 down the drain for sure. Sajak concurs with me:

Then again, to use my often-touted puzzle-solving skills in comparison, please note that when I saw the before-solving version of the puzzle on my computer screen this morning, I screamed “New Jack Swing!” several times at my monitor, not at all taking into account, or caring, obviously, that Wheel of Fortune would have bestowed the “S” and the “N” on Emil already.

The answer was not “New Jack Swing” in any way, shape, or form. Let’s just say I’m a little rusty, and definitely not as good at this game as Emil. I don’t know that I’d trust me to buy your vowel or manage your consonants.

But I would trust him. So, congratulations to Emil, who is clearly still very excited, although the show taped in January.

Some people go to Disney World or Vegas to celebrate big wins. Emil’s wish seems a little more manageable. I’m hopeful that if he and Pat go karaoke’ing, that there is video.

Image credit: YouTube

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