A tiny mistake almost cost Kristen Shaw, a recent contestant on the game show Wheel of Fortune, her prize money and an incredible trip to Nashville. But luckily for her, one Tennessee travel company decided to step in, according to USA Today.
Shaw was a guest on Wheel of Fortune on Thursday night. During a crossword puzzle challenge, she faced off against other contestants Bryan Idler and Jessie Pankow, the Tennessean reported. When it was her turn, she made one teeny, tiny mistake that cost her — big time.
All Shaw had to do was read off the four words that had begun to appear in the game. However, one of the rules of the game is to not “add” any words and to only say the phrases or words on the screen, verbatim. When Shaw’s turn came around, she nearly had it.
The correct answer was: “right, football, left, Sally.” Unfortunately, Shaw answered, “right, football, left, and Sally.” That “and” ended up being a technicality that caused Shaw to lose $1,950 in prize money and a trip to Nashville, Tennessee worth $8,000, according to USA Today. Many Wheel watchers voiced their opinions on the sad injustice of Shaw losing her prize over one tiny, inconsequential word.
The 'and' rule is garbage. She deserved Nashville! #WheelOfFortune— ⭐⭐Drone637 (@Drone637) November 22, 2019
Utterly ridiculous that you didn't give credit to Kristen for the ___ field puzzle because she said "and" before the last word of the list. Functionally no different from the pauses you allow. You know she knew the puzzle @WheelofFortune Not cool. #WheelOfFortune— Dr. Porter-Stransky (@NeuroVixen) November 22, 2019
I don't watch Wheel of Fortune much, but I hate their "crossword" puzzles. They're unfairly picky about how you answer it.— Erika Wemyss Fuzzbottom (@ErikaTweetsToo) November 22, 2019
Read each word as a list, don't say "and ___" like a normal person or it don't count.
They had each word right! Who cares they said "and"?#WheelOfFortune
Sadly, rules are rules. According to USA Today, the show’s host, Pat Sajak, always tries to warn contestants not to add words.
Shaw ended up taking home $3,000 after her stint at Wheel of Fortune, but her trip was lost forever. That is, until L.J. Whalen, a director at a Nashville-based tourism company, Adventureworks, recruited some hospitality companies to help pay for Shaw’s trip.
“Our hospitality community is so close-knit, and we’d love to show Ms. Shaw and the nation that we’re a lot more than boot-stomping and beer drinking. This is what we do here in Nashville. We give second chances,” Whalen said in a statement to USA Today. “And we are not going to make you solve a puzzle to claim it.”
Whalen’s gift to Shaw includes plane tickets, a hotel, and tickets to the Grand Ole Opry, according to USA Today. Shaw told the news outlet that she intends to visit with her mother, but they haven’t picked a date yet.
Besides being shocked, Shaw is also incredibly thankful for such a generous gift. “There is a lot of negativity in this world, but this shows me we are all human, we make mistakes, and for someone to want to give me a second chance, it just blew me away.”