It seems some “Wheel of Fortune” fans felt a contestant’s emotional outburst was justified.
On Wednesday’s episode of the long-running game show, contestant Laryn Nelson — a very spirited elementary school principal from Atlanta — screamed and pouted so passionately when she realized she had lost a car for failing the bonus round that she made host Pat Sajak jump and drop his cards. (Just to note, Nelson sweetly apologized to Sajak immediately after her enthusiastic reaction.)
In the very amusing clip posted by the game show on X, formerly Twitter (above), you can see Nelson having difficulty solving the bonus puzzle. The clue was “What are you doing?” and Nelson seemed to have figured out the last word in the phrase — which was “goals” — but was thrown off by the two words that preceded it.
As she ran out of time, she eventually gave the guess: “pitching my goals.”
But the puzzle’s answer was actually “obtaining my goals.”
At first, Nelson expressed polite disappointment in losing the round.
“All right,” she said upon the answer’s reveal. “That’s OK. I’m going to do that one day, though. Obtaining my goals.”
The cute response prompted Sajak to say: “There’s really no reason for a host on this show. Just let them do it.”
As Nelson giggled, Sajak decided to show her that she had lost a brand new Volkswagen — and that’s when Nelson let loose her passionate response.
But some fans couldn’t blame her, because they felt the puzzle answer was not a common phrase — and cried foul on social media.
What the heck is obtaining my goals? Setting my goals. Meeting my goals. Achieving my goals.
— Zulusue (@Zulusue) September 14, 2023
Uhhhmmm … am I the only one who believes this should’ve read
You guys need to have this contestant back on!
This is terrible! pic.twitter.com/xGjhubu4Ba
— J〽️C3 (@MaizinBlu) September 14, 2023
Hi @WheelofFortune. Tonight's bonus round puzzle "Obtaining My Goals" made zero sense. That's not an expression.
— DayTimDad (@DayTimDad) September 14, 2023
Tonight's #WheelOfFortune bonus round puzzle was garbage. "Obtaining my goals???" Nobody says that. It's "achieving my goals."
— Martin Pinnau (@martinpinnau) September 14, 2023
"Obtaining my goals" was the solution to the Bonus Round Puzzle on Wheel of Fortune tonight. I have heard of achieving, reaching, realizing, & articulating goals, but how common is this phrase? Yes, goals can be attained, I get that. Friendly question, BTW. @WheelofFortune
— Brenda Vander Mey (@vanmey2000) September 13, 2023
Nelson, however, did not go home empty-handed. She left the show with $24,250 in winnings, per Yahoo News.
She also seemed to be a pretty good sport about the whole thing and even shared the game show’s social media post Wednesday, writing that she had the “most incredible time of my life!!!” on the show.
— Laryn Nelson (@LarynBNelson) September 14, 2023
As for fans’ claims that Nelson’s bonus round answer was not a common phrase, it should be noted that “Wheel of Fortune” does have a tendency to use more offbeat wording for its bonus round answers.
According to Wheel of Fortune Tonight, a website that keeps track of the show’s bonus round answers, some of the less colloquial phrases used recently include: “holiday gala,” (instead of “holiday party”) and “poised for action,” (instead of “ready for action”).