'Wheel of Fortune' Contestant Amazes Host With Lucky Guess: 8 Other Historic Game Show Moments
Wednesday night bore witness to one of the most epic game show wins of all time. Wheel of Fortune contestant Emil de Leon, from Daly City, Calif., blew host Pat Sajak's mind when he correctly solved the puzzle "NEW BABY BUGGY" with just the first two letters of the first word. De Leon immediately shouted out the answer and, due to a slight delay on the phrase flashing up, continued to guess.
De Leon's incredible win got us thinking about all those other awesome game-show contestants who have graced the small screen. Some of them will be remembered for their remarkable wit under pressure, and others for their ... not so remarkable wit. Here are some of our favorites, starting with the latest newcomer.
WHEEL OF FORTUNE WHIZZ EMIL DE LEON
The latest on the list, Emil de Leon joins the ranks of the game show elite with his epic bonus round solve on Wheel of Fortune. Host Pat Sajak was doubtful he could solve the three-word puzzle with just two letters — "You're a good puzzle-solver, but I don't know..." he said — but it turns out he should have had a little more faith. The accurate guess netted de Leon $45,000, which meant he went home with $63,099. Not bad for a night's work
JEOPARDY! GENIUS KEN JENNINGS Sets Record
Ken Jennings is the stuff of Jeopardy! legends. He holds the longest winning streak ever on the show, winning 74 times in a row back in 2004. That epic run won him over $2.5 million. He now writes Slate's weekly news quiz.
FIRST MILLIONAIRE Winner JOHN CARPENTER Phones Dad
John Carpenter was the first ever millionaire crowned on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 1999. At the time, he worked as an IRS officer. He's irritatingly smug — but then again, if we were this clever we'd probably be a bit smug, too.
Fast-forward to around the 18 minute mark and you'll hear perhaps the best phone-a-friend the show has ever had — Carpenter says to his father "I don't really need your help, I just wanted to let you know that I'm going to win the million dollars."
WHEEL OF FORTUNE WONDER CAITLIN BURKE
Sorry, Emil, but I'm afraid that when it comes to epic Wheel of Fortune wins, contestant Caitlin Burke has to take our top spot. The 26-year-old fashion editor for Hearst Magazines International correctly guessed the seven-word puzzle "I'VE GOT A GOOD FEELING ABOUT THIS" with just an "L" and an apostrophe. Host Pat Sajak was speechless.
THE PRICE IS RIGHT's Exact Guess
Terry Kniess is a great example of how hard work pays off — especially if you choose to make that hard work studying to win game shows. A weatherman and casino surveillance technician from Las Vegas, Kniess realized that there was a pattern to the prizes given out on The Price is Right: there was a limited number, and the distribution was repeated. He studied up before appearing on the show, and became the first-ever contestant in its 38-year history to hit the price of his Showcase on the nose at $23,743.
It's All About the Turkey on Family Fortunes
Contestant Bob Johnson on Family Fortunes (the British version of Family Feud) could only think of one thing when it was his turn to step up for the Fast Money round. He gave the answer "turkey" to the first three questions. For the second two, it kind of made sense, but the first question was "Name something people take with them to the beach." What a guy.
Woman DESTROYs THE HOST on FAMILY FEUD
This is just so great. During the Fast Money round host Richard Dawson asks the contestant, "During what month of pregnancy does a woman begin to look pregnant?" to which she gives the quick-fire answer "September." Ummmm...
Keep watching — around the two-and-a-half minute mark Dawson can't hold himself together, and literally falls to his knees in hysterics. Priceless.
The "IN THE ASS" GIRL FROM THE NEWLYWED GAME
This truly has to be seen to be believed. Back in 1977, a contestant on The Newlywed Game gave perhaps one of the least-expected answers in the game's history. Host Bob Eubanks asked her, "Tell me where specifically is the weirdest place that you personally, girls, have ever gotten the urge to make whoopee?" Her husband certainly doesn't look like he thought she'd ever give this answer...