Wheel Of Fortune Contestant Robbed Of New Car Prize, Audi Gifts Them One Anyway
Standing up and racking your brain in front of a live audience is a hard thing to do. Now, add in the pressure of winning a big final prize and you’re probably going to stall out much like Wheel Of Fortune contestant Charlene Rubush did. Despite saying the correct answer before the game show’s buzzer went off, she was denied her prize, which ended up being a 2021 Audi Q3 SUV. Social media took things over from there.
But first, what exactly happened?
Gone In Six Seconds
Reaching the final Wheel of Fortune puzzle to solve, Rubush had a good chance of winning thanks to the many letters that were revealed between her letter choices and the standard “R S T L N E” given to every contestant before her. All she had to do was figure out the phrase from the clue “What are you doing?”
Her first guess was barely incorrect—it was only the last word she had wrong. Her second try was, “Choosing the right,” before she paused. Rubush had the word on the tip of her tongue, but it took about five to six seconds for her to say “Card.” Despite that lapse, she said it before her 10 seconds were up. Surely she had just won the prize in the envelope, right? Even Vanna White thought so.
Then, show host Pat Sajak revealed that she hadn’t actually won due to a technicality. That pause between “right” and “card” was just too long. Rubush had lost her chance to win whatever was in that envelope. While the prize on Wheel of Fortune is always revealed regardless of whether it was won or not, in this case it seemed like rubbing things in Charlene’s face, especially after it was revealed to be a brand new Audi Q3. The game was over, and a car that could have a great impact on Rubush’s life was gone just due to a short pause and that last word.
“Give Her The Car”
Fans of the show quickly got involved on social media. Specifically, another famous game show winner, Alex Jacob of Jeopardy fame, wrote on Twitter “Come on (Wheel of Fortune), the woman literally chose the right word. Give her the car.”
However, just commenting on it wasn’t enough for Jacob. He went and got Audi’s social media involved by contacting them directly. They seemed to have given him their typical canned response of “we’re reviewing the situation internally.”
A Christmas Miracle
The situation didn’t seem hopeful but then, like a miracle—a real, actual miracle—happened. The very next day, Audi responded on its own Twitter profile, “You’re a winner in our eyes, Charlene. Now, let’s get you a prize. Time to #GiveHerTheQ3.”
Sure, this miracle won’t change the world or solve its many pressing issues, but sometimes doing the right thing goes further than we realize. Good news has been hard to come by in the past two years, with no appreciable letup seemingly coming anytime soon. It’s also a great way to start the holiday, considering this all happened the same week as Christmas. While we haven’t heard official word from Audi USA on when they will give Rubush her Q3, we have to say good on Audi for making it happen while capitalizing on a wheelie misfortunate game-show moment to spread some joy.
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