A contestant on the popular game show “Wheel of Fortune” is taking some heat online for his alleged “incorrect” answer on Monday’s show.
The episode, which aired in the East at 8 p.m., features a puzzle called the “Keepsake.” The clue reads, “Give a keepsake to your friends.”
The answer is “Make Friends.”
Aaron Thomas, whose Twitter handle is @wizardjauren, won $16,989 with his “incorrect” guess. He’s since deleted his account and says he plans to come back on the show in a few weeks.
Thomas told The Washington Post that he was disappointed with his win, but not the host or the production staff. In fact, he said, the producers invited him back for a follow-up appearance.
“I’ve always been consistent and never once made a mistake. The only thing the producers blame is the audience,” Thomas told The Post. “They said I definitely made a mistake, but it’s their fault.”
When he got the “incorrect” answer, Thomas said he figured it was “rough for the show because it just seemed like it was out of character for them.”
Audience members can comment on the play-by-play on a live chat during every episode, and even provide free guessings. Two audience members noted that Thomas’ clue wasn’t immediately picked by a fellow audience member.
“It was definitely strange,” Michelle Mira said. “The first one we heard picked ‘Make Friends.’ Aaron’s right answer was ‘Give a keepsake to your friends,’ which would’ve been the first right one. But his answer was a little confusing, to be honest.”
Another audience member, Kari Olson, tweeted: “I saw the play-by-play after Aaron’s right answer was ‘Give a keepsake to your friends.’ I was like, ‘No, I’d call it something like, ‘Give a keepsake to your cat,’ so I texted my husband. He was like, ‘Did you see that Aaron’s right answer was ‘Make Friends’? Just to be clear.’”
And, according to other online commentators, one of the audience members also incorrectly guessed a “Give a keepsake to your friends” as “Perfectly Oat Flakes,” and another guessed “Personal items.”
During the end credits of Monday’s episode, host Pat Sajak — who is also on the show as a guest — offered an apology to the show’s audience.
“Good game last night, but what a mis guess on the board by one of the many audience members,” Sajak said. “We’re sorry Aaron Thomas won $16,935 — but we won’t be sorry when we see him again.”
Sajak declined to comment to The Post. CBS and Warner Bros. — the parent company of “Wheel of Fortune” — did not immediately respond to a request for comment.