Contestant Emil de Leon pulled off an amazing win on "Wheel of Fortune" Wednesday after he managed to solve a three-word phrase from just two letters, shocking the audience, Vanna White, and even Pat Sajak, who muttered, “I’m rather stunned” at the end of the show.
The video of de Leon taking home an extra $45,000 from "Wheel of Fortune" has gone viral, getting attention for an almost miraculous solve and also the sheer shock displayed by the show’s well-known host.
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As just two letters in the phrase revealed themselves, Sajak commented, “Wow, well, this looks tough to me. It’s a thing. You're a very good puzzle solver, but I don't know. You have 10 seconds. Keep talking. Maybe the right thing will pop out. Good luck.”
Good luck, indeed. After the first phrase out of de Leon’s mouth was the correct one (there was even a delay in turning the puzzle around, as if the technical team behind the scenes couldn’t believe he had solved it), Sajak jokingly turned de Leon around and patted him down. He was apparently searching for the answers the contestant must have gotten from somewhere.
Sajak promoted the show Wednesday morning with the tweet:
Thursday, he added another thought:
The Washington Post pointed out that linguistically, "Wheel" champ de Leon
didn’t really have many phrases to choose from.
He could see the used letter board, and ignoring letters that aren’t that common like Q and Z, narrow those letters down. Still, to make those mental calculations so quickly was an impressive feat.
“Once he had ‘new,’ Emil needed only guess which four- and five-letter words contained his unused letters. This task — while requiring a great deal of mental dexterity — isn’t exactly impossible,” the Post wrote.
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