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'Wheel of Fortune' fans complain game show 'messed it up again' after contestant is denied prize money

A "Wheel of Fortune" contestant lost out on the bonus round prize when she failed to correctly solve the final puzzle, but fans are insisting the game show made a mistake.

A "Wheel of Fortune" contestant won last night's game but failed to correctly guess the bonus puzzle.

After the episode aired, fans of the game show began rallying around the contestant, insisting that she had actually named the right answer to the puzzle but that host Pat Sajak had failed to recognize it.

The contestant, a woman named Tamara, chose "What Are You Doing?" for the category for the final puzzle. After co-host Vanna White turned over both the letters the show traditionally provides and the ones Tamara chose, she was left with "___N_NG A B___ _L_B."

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"Now pay attention what's up there," Sajak advised. "There's a huge letter board. If you talk it out, you can do this."

She started out with the word "fanning," but when she couldn't get anywhere with that, she went silent. As her ten seconds were almost up, she came up with "book club," and just before the buzzer rang, she made a guess.

The correct answer was "JOINING A BOOK CLUB." Some viewers believe that's what she guessed, but others heard "running a book club." In the clip, it sounds like she began to say something else before offering her guess.

"You were right there," Sajak told her. "Got there a little late, unfortunately. By the time you got to ‘book club,’ time was running out on you."

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He revealed that had she been right, she would have won $50,000. Still, her winnings from the game totaled $21,132.

Fans took to X, formerly Twitter, to discuss the moment, and several expressed that they felt Tamara had been cheated.

"Wheel of fortune - the contestant got the puzzle right - you messed it up again!" one person wrote.

Another said, "Wth. I thought she said that in PLENTY of time!!! And I thought the rule was as long as you BEGAN before the buzzer you could finish!!"

"On 2/24/24, Tamara won the bonus round, on wheel of fortune," read a complaint. "She already mentioned the BOOK CLUB, Then called out, JOINING A BOOK . So joining a book club camp out of her mouth before the time run out. Where of fortune always rob people money. Give her her $50,000. She won!!!!"

"thats bulls--- she got that puzzle before the buzzer!!" exclaimed another fan. "Youve ripped off another contestant!"

A similar issue occurred last month when a contestant named Megan was believed to have said the correct answer to her bonus puzzle, only to be denied her prize.

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The letters on the board appeared as "P_N_ _RC__D," and the category was "Living Thing." After 10 seconds, the buzzer sounded, and Megan realized that she'd lost out on the bonus prize.

As White revealed the remaining letters and the correct answer, "pink orchid," Megan realized how close she'd been to winning.

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"You might have been overthinking," Sajak remarked. "Thinking a type of orchid."

"I'm sorry that didn't work out for you," he added, struggling to show her the envelope that held a $40,000 prize.

Fox News Digital's Caroline Thayer contributed to this report.

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