Wheel of Fortune fans slam show rule after contestant loses due to technicality

·2 min read

While its sister show Jeopardy is better known as a pedant's paradise (misspeaking or misspelling has long been known to sink contestants), every now and then Wheel of Fortune gets in on the action.

Fans of the long-running game show are up in arms over a technicality that came into play on Wednesday's episode. To solve the show's crossword puzzles (typically a series of four words) correctly, contestants are not allowed to say "and" when listing the words. This rule has cost players the win on more than one occasion, including on Wednesday, when contestant David Pederson became its latest victim while solving a puzzle in the category "Catch of the Day."

"Don't add anything," host Pat Sajak warned Pederson, who then answered, "Sole, flounder, cod, and catfish," which Sajak ruled incorrect. Another contestant then answered correctly by listing the same fish but omitting "and."

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Viewers quickly registered their displeasure on social media. "Wheel of Fortune's draconian rule where you lose if you add 'and' to the crossword puzzle has to go," one user wrote. Added another, "Just change the dumbest rule ever and allow this."

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Representatives for Wheel of Fortune did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.

Crossword puzzles were only added to the show's format in 2016, so it's certainly possible that the rule could change. In the meantime, prospective contestants: beware of "and."

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