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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/21/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Lucky winner walks away with $45,000 after solving puzzle with only TWO letters

TV game show favorite "Wheel of Fortune" is very much like a showbiz version of "Hangman," where contestants must fill in phrases by correctly guessing letters. The letters. Contestant Emil De Leon correctly guess the phrase - "new baby buggy" with only TWO numbers, which led "Fortune host Pat Sajak to tweet "Tonight's 'Wheel of Fortune' features most amazing solve in my 30+ years on the show. No kidding." De Leon's walked away $45,000 due to his winning guess.

Vanna White, the studio audience and viewers at home were stunned.

Vanna White, the studio audience and viewers at home were stunned.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

3/21/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in TV

Keywords: Wheel of Fortune, winner, Pat Sajak

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The three-word puzzle had words with three letters, four letters and five letters. De Leon only had the vague hint that he was guessing a "thing" that started with "NE." The board looked like this: "NE_  _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _."

"This looks tough to me. It's a thing," Sajak told him. "You're a really good problem solver but I don't know. You have 10 seconds. Keep talking, maybe the right thing will pop out. Good luck."

Light a virtual candle -- by going here!

Astonishingly, de Leon correctly guessed "New baby buggy" with his first attempt! The amazed Sajak playfully patted-down de Leon. 

'Wheel of Fortune' contestant Emil de Leon only got two letters in a seemingly hard to solve final puzzle on 'Wheel of Fortune,' but that didn't stop him from guessing 'New Baby Buggy' to win the game.

Vanna White, the studio audience and viewers at home were stunned.

What was de Leon's secret? The linguistically minded think that attributing de Leon's win to mere luck takes away from the contestant's quick thinking. They point out that with N and E on the board, the first word almost certainly had to be "New."

Cultural blogger Caitlin Dewey of The Washington Post points out that the show's contestants get to see a used letter board and that de Leon's would have read, "ABC FG IJK PQ UVWXYZ" because he already guessed H, M, D and O.

Emil de Leon actually solved this

Emil de Leon actually solved this 'Wheel of Fortune' puzzle in 10 seconds.

Seeing as Q, J, Z, X, V, K and W are essentially useless and appear in less than 1.5 percent of English words, de Leon needed to put together two words of four and five letters using A, B, C, F, G, I, P, U and Y.

De Leon could only have 53 possible five-letter words and that most of them - like fizzy or puffy - are not things. There weren't exactly many other valid guesses he could have stumbled upon.

It's being chalked up to unbelievable luck, or of a man who truly knows how to play the game.


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