Pat Sajack can’t believe his ears when one of his contestants asks for the letter Z at the start of the show’s final puzzle. “Say that again for me? Did you say ‘Z’?!” he asks incredulously. “As in Zulu. Z,” she responds.
Nura Fountano had been doing incredibly well throughout the entire show, so why would she suddenly start making such terrible choices? Her opponents continue to rack up thousands with common consonants, but when it’s Fountano’s turn she stays silent or guesses the most obscure letters like ‘Q’ and ‘X.’
Fountano hadn’t pulled in a single dollar in the final round but still won more overall than either of her opponents. It became clear that she had deliberately thrown the game. When Pat asked her why she made such terrible choices she just replied “that’s what I saw.”
Viewers were equally puzzled and commented on twitter. Breanna Sooter asked “Why is this lady guessing Z, X, and Q for this puzzle?” over Twitter. Another user tweeted “Z? Then no letter? Then Q? Is Nura drunk?”
The answer was incredibly noble. Fountano and another contestant were both United States military veterans attending ‘Wheel of Fortune’s” Veteran’s Week. With a commanding lead that far outshined her competitors, Fountano took a dive to let her fellow brothers-in-arms catch up. Steve, who had only $1,600 going into round 3, walked away with $6,400.
The audience soon picked up on it too. Lisa Dent Radio shared a clip on their Twitter feed praising Fountano saying “This woman ROCKS! Nura was up big on Wheel of Fortune and threw a round so a vet could win some $$$.”