Audi to Gift 'Wheel of Fortune' Contestant a Car After Losing Over Technicality and Fans Express Outrage

Contestant Charlene Rubush lost out on an Audi during Tuesday's episode of Wheel of Fortune, despite guessing the correct answer

wheel of foryune
Photo: Quadra Productions, Inc. Carol Kaelso

Wheel of Fortune fans are criticizing the long-running game show after a contestant lost out on a prize over a timing technicality on Tuesday's show.

During the episode, Charlene Rubush was in the bonus round and trying to solve a puzzle in the "What Are You Doing" category.

After filling out a few letters, Rubush first guessed "choosing the right card," which was wrong. She then said "choosing the right…" and finished off with "word" just moments before the buzzer went off.

The answer was "choosing the right word," but Rubush's pause before finishing out the phrase cost her the bonus round prize — a new Audi Q3.

"You know, this one's tough, because you said all the right words, including the word 'word' but, as you know, it's gotta be more or less continuous," host Pat Sajak said.

"We'll allow for a little pause, but not four or five seconds. I'm sorry. You did a good job in getting it, but we can't give you the prize, and it was the Audi," Sajak added.

The loss prompted outrage from fans on social media, with one accusing the show of having "hidden rules."

"@WheelofFortune well we had a good run. I won't watch the show anymore. That lady won the AUDI, she answered the phrase within the timeframe allowed," the viewer wrote on Twitter. "You have hidden rules, fake show. Ill never watch again (unless she gets the AUDI ANNND the rule changes)"

"Wheel of Fortune, you just lost a viewer," another added. " 'I am choosing the right word' to never watch this show again. #WheelofFortune #choosingtherightword I'm done! I'm with that lady. She deserves that Audi! That rule is the most dumbest thing ever! She had it right before the time was up!"

Reps for Wheel of Fortune did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

However, it seems that Rubush may be able to get her Audi after all. Amid the backlash, the auto company said they tracked her down to get her the new car.

"You're a winner in our eyes, Charlene. Now, let's get you a prize. Time to #GiveHerTheQ3," Audi wrote on Twitter.

In a second tweet, the company added, "We're full of surprises this holiday season."

Related Articles