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‘Wheel of Fortune’ fans call ‘BS,’ claim ‘unfair terminology’ resulted in loss

Hell hath no fury like a “Wheel of Fortune” fan scorned.

In Friday’s episode of the game show, fans were frustrated with the answer to a bonus puzzle question. 

After netting the highest score of over $15,000, contestant Julie from Wylie, Texas chose the “person” category, selecting letters P, G, M and O as her additional letters.

She was left to solve a fairly filled-in blank; “_O_N_ _ N G P _  R T N E R.”

The correct answer was “FOUNDING PARTNER,” although Julie was left stumped. 

Host Pat Sajak later told Julie she had lost out on an additional $40,000. 

Fans immediately took to social media to question the authenticity of the winning answer, writing things like “Founding partner is not a thing: founding fathers YES. Such BS.”

Another person wrote, “Founding Partner? The writers really phoned that one in!”

That tweet received a response, with someone adding, “Founding partner is an unfair terminology word usage and this type of wordplay should not be allowed. #unfairwheel”

Sajak told the contestant she had lost out on an additional $40,000. 
ABC via Getty Images

An additional person was even more critical, writing, “They’re just making up stuff now.”

According to, a founding partner is “the owner or owners of the initial company acquired by private equity buyers seeking to merge a number of firms in the same line of business into a larger entity. As they were in at the start of this consolidation, they are called founding partners.”

Another fan tweeted their thoughts, sharing, “While founding partner is a business term, I don’t think a lot of people would’ve gotten it. It really was quite a tricky one. Just shows that WOF would use anything.”

The contestant Julie, who was accompanied by her brother and 9-year-old son at the taping of the show, was still able to take home $15,000.

It was a tough end to the week for “Wheel of Fortune” fans, as several local stations redirected programming to the NCAA March Madness tournament instead of airing the game show on both Thursday and Friday.

The show’s official Twitter account wrote, “If you are unable to see tonight’s episode of Wheel due to NCAA March Madness or other special programming on your local station, we will accept any puzzle solution or word of your choice (please keep it clean) submitted by 2:59 p.m. PT tomorrow (Friday, March 17) as valid for the Fun & Games $10K Giveaway.”

One fan took to Twitter to poke fun at the issue, writing “Somewhere, in Western Arkansas, someone’s grandmother is ticked that due to the NCAA Tournament she has to get up at 3a to watch Wheel of Fortune.”

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