Wheel of Fortune viewers are blasting the game show for a "dumb rule" after a contestant lost solving a puzzle due to a technicality. During a recent episode of the show, a contestant was resolving a puzzle of fish names and accidentally said the word "and" while listing them. The next contestant solved the puzzle, saying the same names, but did not add the extra "and." Host Pat Sajak noted that this was what caused the first contestant's answer to be deemed incorrect by the judges.
According to ET Canada, the rule was instituted in 2016, but the show's fans are still not happy about it. The outlet shared some reactions from fans on social media, with one Twitter user writing, "That 'and' rule is so dumb." Someone else added, "I wish they'd get rid of the 'don't add anything' rule for the [Wheel of Fortune] crossword rounds. So upsetting when they accidentally say 'and.'" A third viewer tweeted, "Why don't you have the 'and' symbol in the puzzle then people could say 'and' and not lose their money."
A Wheel of Fortune spokesperson previously stated the rule, telling Fox News that contestants are aware of it ahead of filming. "Our long-standing rule is that in order to have a correct puzzle solve, a contestant must say only what is on the board without adding words, "the spokesperson said. "Contestants are thoroughly briefed prior to the show, and Pat often reminds them of this rule when solving a puzzle in this particular category."
Notably, as ET pointed out, many fans have expressed support for the Wheel of Fortune rule. "No, they don't need to fix the 'and rule.' Rules are rules," a supportive fan tweeted. "They all know the rule and [Sajak] even reminds them when they solve 'not to add anything.' Do I like the rule? NO, but it's a rule. I felt bad for him and would probably do it too, but that's too bad."
One Wheel Watcher defended the show by pointing out a similarity in another well-known game showed. "Why can't contestants just follow the rules for the dumb game show? Jeopardy, you have answer in the form of a question," they explained. "They should not change the rule. And is not one of the words in the puzzle."