'Wheel of Fortune’ Fans Fume After ‘Frustrating’ Misstep Costs Contestant Bonus Round

Vanna White standing in front of the puzzle board on 'Wheel of Fortune'

Wheel of Fortune fans are fuming over how one “major” mistake cost a contestant thousands of dollars during a bonus round.

The misstep occurred during the show’s Jan. 18 episode when contestant Tina Meier-Nowell stepped up to try her hand at a bonus two-word puzzle. The first word had two blank spaces in the middle, while the second had a blank space at the beginning and four in the middle of the word: “M__OR” “_L____RD.”

Wheel of Fortune co-host Pat Sajak put 10 seconds on the clock for Meier-Nowell to solve the puzzle. After contemplating the letters for a few seconds, she ventured a guess.

“Minor blizzard,” she suggested. When nothing happened, she began to look concerned and started to guess again. “Minor…I don’t know.”

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As the buzzer sounded, the audience let out a groan. Co-host Vanna White turned to watch as the blank spaces began to fill in with the missing letters, revealing the answer to be: “MAJOR BLIZZARD.”

“You’ve got to think bigger. Think bigger!” Sajak told Meier-Nowell.

“Major blizzard!” she exclaimed with a laugh, adding that she had been “close.”

“I just feel terrible,” Sajak said. “You had exactly the right idea, just had the wrong key.” Sajak then flashed a card showing that Meier-Nowell had missed out on $40,000 by solving the puzzle incorrectly.

In a video clip the show posted of Meier-Nowell’s bonus round on YouTube, several of the show’s fans expressed their frustration in the comment section.

"I knew major blizzard even from watching weather forecasts on the news,” one person wrote.

“That bonus round miss was so bad it made me bang the table!” said another.

“I knew it, ‘Major Blizzard!’ Really, Tina?!” another fan commented.

Others voiced their frustration on X.

“I'm guessing they don't have major blizzards in her area,” one X user tweeted.

“Since when has a MINOR BLIZZARD ever occurred?!!?” another tweet said.

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