I thought I had a basic understanding of how the game show Wheel of Fortune worked.
Basically, in each episode contestants are given an extremely vague category and then must take turns spinning the colorful prize wheel and nervously calling out letters in hopes of cracking the puzzle before their opponents.
While this is all going down, Vanna White is of course getting her steps in for the day and making millions of dollars for touching a screen.
To win prizes and advance in this game, you must solve the puzzle. So when I saw host Pat Sajak tell this poor woman that she did not win after correctly solving the puzzle, I began questioning everything in existence.
Keep scrolling to watch contestant Charlene have her dreams shattered over a WoF rule that I can't wrap my head around. But don't worry, there are some nice people out there. Let's just say that Charlene really does win in the end.
WATCH: Charlene solves the puzzle correctly, but apparently doesn't win.
Below is the video that has kept me up all night. The clip, shared by Twitter user @DezAugusztin, shows contestant Charlene in the final speed round. That's right, the final speed round. To qualify for this bonus round, you must be the leading contestant in the episode.
The category is "What Are You Doing?" but I think a better question would be "What Are You Doing, Wheel of Fortune?"
Anyway, the letters R, S, T, L, N, and E are provided as always. Then Charlene is asked to pick three consonants and one vowel. She picks G, D, H, and I. Luckily for her, they're all in the puzzle.
Vanna fills the letters in and then Charlene is given 10 seconds to come up with the correct four-word phrase. "Choosing the right card," Charlene optimistically called out. (Ahh, so close, Charlene!)
Don't worry, though! She still has a few seconds on the clock and she's already nailed down the first three words of the puzzle. "Choosing the right ..." Charlene says as she tries to figure out the fourth and final word in the phrase. Eventually, she says it: "word." The buzzer rings.
But luckily Charlene had spoken just in time. Her answer was "choosing the right word," which was the correct answer to the puzzle. But get this: She didn't win the prize.
"This one's tough because you said all the right words, including the word 'word' but as you know, it's got to be more or less continuous," Pat says to her. "We'll allow for a little pause but not four or five seconds. I'm sorry, you did a good job in getting it but we can't give you the prize and it was the Audi."
Talk about a nightmare. Charlene had lost the prize because she didn't say her answer all in one breath.
User @bpd76 commented on the Twitter clip and tried to explain why WoF did Charlene dirty like that.
However, the majority of folks discussing the episode on Twitter disagreed and seemed to believe that Charlene deserved the Audi.
"Wheel of Fortune, you just lost a viewer," user @TalinOrfaliGhaz tweeted. "I am 'choosing the right word' to never watch this show again."
Meanwhile, user @NoBustLow quote-tweeted a clip from the episode and wrote: "Boycott Wheel of Fortune."
Former 'Jeopardy!' Champion Alex Jacob calls on 'Wheel of Fortune' to do better.
Professional poker player and game show contestant extraordinaire Alex Jacob took to Twitter to show support for Charlene.
While he never actually competed on WoF, he was the 2015 Tournament of Champions winner on Jeopardy! So he knows a thing or two about the game show landscape.
"I understand rules are rules but this seems like a particularly dumb rule," he wrote in a follow-up tweet. Then he pointed out how awful it was to deny Charlene the prize just days before Christmas. (The episode aired live on Dec. 22, 2021.)
He also shared a screenshot of a DM he sent to the WoF Twitter account. "At this time, we are reviewing this situation internally," the account wrote, giving us all just a little bit of hope for Charlene.
Luckily, Audi heard about Charlene's loss and wanted to make things right.
Audi rewarded 'Wheel of Fortune' contestant Charlene with a Q3 Audi.
While it didn't seem likely that WoF would change its mind, Audi swooped in to give Charlene a Christmas surprise. The car company tweeted that they had tracked down Charlene and were giving her a new Audi Q3 compact sport utility vehicle.
At least everyone's not a grinch! Happy holidays to everyone but WoF!
Wheel of Fortune airs weeknights on ABC at 7:30 p.m. EST.