Audi just outdid Lexus at Christmastime, and all it cost them was one Q3. By most accounts (beyond the game show’s very serious judges), “Wheel of Fortune” contestant Charlene Rubush was robbed on Tuesday’s final puzzle. Alex Jacob, who is no stranger to winning money on TV, led the social-media campaign to make it right. Just like his own 2015 “Jeopardy!” run, Jacob was successful.
On Tuesday, Rubush correctly solved the final “Wheel” puzzle, which was ironically “Choosing the Right Word,” before the show’s 10-second timer expired — but her reading of the phrase wasn’t up to host Pat Sajak’s strict standard.
At first, Rubush guessed “Choosing the Right Card.” Confident in the first three words (two of which were fully revealed), Charlene then said “Choosing the Right…” and paused for a few seconds before saying “Word!”
The *problem* was she did not say all four words of the puzzle smoothly within one continuous phrase. Rubush would have won an Audi Q3 SUV.
“You know, this one’s tough because you said all the right words, including the word ‘Word,'” Sajak said. “But as you know, it’s got to be more or less continuous. We’ll allow for a little pause but not four or five seconds.”
Good grief, Grinch– er, Sajak.
Fortunately, Jacob, the “Jeopardy!” 2015 Tournament of Champions winner and the 2006 U.S. Poker Champion (ESPN), took on the role of head elf on Twitter.
“Come on @WheelofFortune, the woman literally chose the right word,” he captioned a clip of the moment. “Give her the car.”
The tweet took off, getting Audi’s attention.
Jacob followed that one up with: “Now I’m wondering if she had just stretched out the word ‘riiiiiiiiiight,’ would that have counted as a continuous answer? I understand rules are rules but this seems like a particularly dumb rule. C’mon Wheel, it’s Christmas.”
And: “Going all Zapruder on this thing now, if you watch Vanna at the moment the contestant gets it her face changes into a smile and she starts to clap before stopping herself. Definitely looks like she thought it was a legit solve in the moment.”
Yeah, he was into it. See Jacob’s string of tweets below.
Fortunately, that perseverance paid off. It looks like Charlene will get the Merry Christmas she deserves, and Audi is enjoying a ton of relatively free (MSRP on a Q3 is $35,900) excellent publicity.
Who knows? Maybe even Sajak’s heart will grow three sizes this day.
In the spirit of the season, readers can watch Audi’s actual 2021 Christmas commercial at the top of this story.