#37: Wheel's Worst Solves
Since January of 1975, Wheel Of Fortune has graced our airwaves on 2 major networks in daytime & in syndication. Since then, they've given away countless millions of dollars in cash, prizes and ceramic Dalmatians that nobody seemed to want, unless they had to buy it. People have been drawn in for years whether it's been the millions given away, or the sex appeal of Vanna White, or just waiting for what we're going to be covering today. It's time to talk about some of the worst puzzle solves in the show's history. I think it's time to start at the humble beginnings, where the first round had a top dollar value of $500, the puzzle board only had 3 lines & there was shopping galore after each round. I think it's time to meet our first worst solver.
His name is Gerry Silvers. We don't know what he does, but that's ok. That often happened in the early episodes because they took about 4-5 commercial breaks in the span of 30 minutes. Now, he was already in a bad spot because his first turn came up Bankrupt, so he was behind the 8-ball already. He got even farther behind the 8-ball when it was his turn again, with this puzzle.
He called a T, and that had already been called, as pointed out by the puzzle turner at that time, Susan Stafford. Now, that can easily be shrugged off because that's happened so many times in the show's history that it happens to the best of them. Later on he finally gets control back from his two opponents, and he manages to rack up $350 with the puzzle looking like this now.
He doesn't go for a vowel, but instead goes for the solve and says....
"Kill The Vampire"
With the audible groans immediately after he said that, he knew that he made a collosal mistake. I mean, unless they say it with only 6 letters in Massachutses where he was from, Vampire has 7 letters, and there are only 6 spaces in that last word. So, needless to say that he made a gigantic error. Looking back, it's a bad solve, not the worst though. But now you know what we're going for.
So, now let's go to 1983 where the daytime version is having a special Couples Week on Wheel Of Fortune, where we meet our next two dim bulbs.
Here are Bill & Kathy D'agostino. At that time a married couple for the past 5 years. They seem like a bright couple, with two kids, Bill being a big time manager at a huge phone company *cough* AT&T *Cough* and they enjoy playing with the kids & also softball. Needless to say this pair of lovebirds did good in their lives. On the show, they did just as well as one could hope, racking up $3,375 in the first round alone. They wound up winning the day with $4,725 and decided to play the bonus game for a Big Screen TV. I guess since the lady got the pick of the prizes in the main game, the gentlemen gets the pick at the end game.
So, with a big screen TV on the line, they see this puzzle and call out the usual suspects or R, S, T, L, N and E. Pat remarks that they should just give it to them because those are some good picks. Leaving the puzzle with this remaining...
Yeah, if they don't get this, then they are in big trouble. So, what happens? Well, if you've been reading this website, you know what happens. They say Too Secret, Tea Secret, The Secret among others, and completely blow it.
Top Secret was it, as Bill quips "Oh, that was so easy", right after he and his wife blows a very easy bonus puzzle. I don't know if they came back for the Friday Finals, but there you go.
I think we spent enough time in NBC-Land and we should go into the land of syndication and go to a more current horrible solve with this guy.
His name is Edgar. I don't know much else about him, mainly because I was probably watching something else when this was airing. But anyways, he was doing ok and it was time for the $3,000 toss-up. Up came the puzzle and a few letters popped up.
He then proceeded to buzz in and say..."FISH LOVE!"
Wow. I don't know how that would come about, unless you were watching an episode of Jerry Springer's Spring Brea....I watch way too much daytime TV. Needless to say, that he made a gigantic error there. His opponent Jenny got the puzzle, Wish List and got the $3000, whereas Edgar as Pat put it, "has something that he'll be known for the rest of his life." But Edgar had to experience a little pain, to get a little pleasure.
He won the game with $12,800 and saw this puzzle. With the RSTLNE given, he only got the T.
However, he proved here that Fish Love was just an abberation and picked the right letters and won $30,000 by nailing Civic Duty. So, in total he won $42,800. And because Wheel thought he would be such a good sport....
Fish Love was displayed prominently on the puzzle board. Good natured ribbing, for a good natured guy who made a good natured blunder.
And now, it's time for what maybe the biggest Wheel of Fortune Missolve ever.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you Joseph Cardone. He is a bartender in Richfield, New Jersey and is probably more well known for what we're going into than he would like to remember. Heading into Round 4, he's trailing Chandra by $1,800. He has $3,100 to her $4,900 and their other opponent has a goose-egg. So, now we're in round 4 and with not much time, Pat gives the wheel the final spin and gets $1,600 for each consonant. After some time, Joseph makes his declaration of P. And the rest, I think is best for the audio to lead us to the rest of it. I'll have the actual text beneath the picture, for the hearing impaired.
and away we go.
Pat: People, your time starts
Pat: Goodnight, everyone! Thank You!
Pat: THIS IS WHEEL OF FORTUNE, JOE!
Thus, one of the most memorable blunders in game show history was born. And this was when Wheel Of Fortune's contestant pool was somewhat sane. I could go with the obvious stupidity and saying that it could never be A Group of Pill Pushers because there was only 1 P on the board, but then again with the bright lights and maybe his lack of clarity at that time, he'll forever be known as the guy who made Pat inevitably lose it, no matter how many times Raymond tried back in 1993.
Well, that's just part 1. Lord knows there's so many bad solves out there and stupid contestants to make fun of that I could do a whole years worth of bad Wheel of Fortune solves, but like a good workout, pacing yourself is the best way to get the job done.
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