A Wheel of Fortune contestant from Florida became a Twitter talking point this week, after an “embarrassing” misfire when she tried to solve a puzzle on the game show.
During Tuesday’s installment, contestant Angie Gauntney told host Pat Sajak that, while she was growing up, her father watched Wheel of Fortune on satellite before the rest of her family so he knew the answers.
Gauntney later went from raising laughs to enduring quite the frustrating experience when she failed to solve a word puzzle in the Food and Drink category.
With co-host Vanna White unveiling the correctly guessed letters, Gauntney appeared to have a win in the palm of her hands. She had filled in enough blanks that there were only two remaining spaces.
After selecting a series of consonants and vowels, Gauntney was faced with a board that read: “WARM TOASTED BA_ELS WITH LO_ AND CREAM CHEESE.”
“I’m gonna try to solve!” Gauntney excitedly announced, before guessing the answer to be “warm toasted bagels with low and cream cheese.”
“No, not right,” Sajak responded as the incorrect buzzer sound rang out in the Los Angeles studio.
Seizing the opportunity, fellow contestant Nina Lance then correctly guessed that the answer was “warm toasted bagels with lox and cream cheese.”
Gauntney’s gastronomical error prompted a host of viewers to flock to Twitter. They expressed disbelief at their not knowing the popular bagel filling. Lox is a fillet of brined and sliced salmon often smoked and served with cream cheese.
A post shared on the Twitter account of New York franchise Bagel Boss read: “With ‘LOW and cream cheese’…..This is a disgrace. Someone get us her @ so we can hook her up with some LOX and cream cheese.”
“Omg on Wheel of Fortune someone just guessed warm toasted bagels with LOW and cream cheese instead of lox that is so embarrassing I would never show my face again,” tweeted another viewer.
Sharing a photo of their paused TV screen to show how close Gauntney was to solving the puzzle, one fan of the show wrote: “Someone saw this puzzle and said ‘Warm Toasted Bagels with Low and Cream Cheese.'”
Referencing a mistake made by another contestant in February during the show’s Teen Weekanother tweeted: “First FreGh tropical fruit, now LoW and cream cheese. Why do these #WheelOfFortune contestants not know popular breakfast foods?”
A host of others Wheel of Fortune viewers shared comedic GIFs to illustrate their feelings about Gauntney’s unfortunate error.
Amid the widespread ridicule, some viewers backed Gauntney, admitting they were also unfamiliar with the food item.
“I ain’t gonna fault the lady for guessing ‘Low.’ I have never heard of lox either, commented one, to which another viewer responded: “Same! Had to Google it.”
Anticipating that there were many others who were equally unaware, another tweeted: “Google about to get a whole lot of traffic searching what in the hell type of food ‘lox’ is.”
Over the years, several Wheel of Fortune Clips have gone viral with similar contestant blunders or the show’s stringent rules denying a player a bonus prize win.
In March 2022, Sajak defended other contestants who were mocked on social media for struggling to solve a puzzle. After an initial guess of “another feather in your hat” turned out to be wrong, attempts including “another feather in your lap” and “another feather in your map” were put forth. The correct answer was, of course, “another feather in your cap.”
Sajak wrote on Twitter: “It always pains me when nice people come on our show to play a game and win some money and maybe fulfill a lifelong dream, and are then subject to online ridicule when they make a mistake or something goes awry.
“Last night’s ‘Feather in your cap’ puzzle was a case in point. Sitting at home, it seems incredible that they couldn’t solve it, but I knew in real time what was happening.
“The first attempted solve was ‘Feather in your hat’ which, by the way, is how a lot of people say it. So all three players thought it was a good solve, and were stunned when I said it was wrong,” tweeted sayak
Urging those commenting on the viral moment to “have a little heart,” Sajak said that finding humor in the moment is different to mocking the players relentlessly.
“Good-natured laughter is one thing,” he wrote in his lengthy Twitter thread. “Heck, they laughed at themselves. But, hey, cut them some slack. Unless you’re there, you have no idea how different it is in the studio.
“I have fun with players and I tease them occasionally, but when things go wrong, I feel for them, and I try to salve the wounds on camera and off. So, yeah, it was an oddly entertaining puzzle and it’s okay to laugh at the situation. But have a little heart.