Wheel of Fortune contestant mocked for viral puzzle blunder speaks out: ‘There were some hurtful comments’

pat sajak in new york city
Pat Sajak was taken aback by a Wheel of Fortune contestant’s puzzle guess earlier this month. Pic credit: © Mcgee/Globe Photos

A former Wheel of Fortune contestant is breaking her silence after her embarrassing puzzle blunder went viral.

As Monsters and Critics previously reported, a contestant by the name of Gishma Tabari appeared in a December 2023 episode of Wheel of Fortune.

While competing in the Triple Toss-Up round against her two competitors, Gishma felt ready to solve a puzzle in the “Show Biz” category.

When left with the letters “TH _ /  _ RITI _ S /  _ GR _ E,” Gishma rang her buzzer to give longtime Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak her answer.

“The British Ogre” was Gishma’s response, prompting Pat to ask her to repeat it.

“Uh, no,” Pat responded before Gishma’s competitor, Lora Stamps, provided the correct answer, “The Critics Agree.”


All those news articles written on this failed moment #fails #thebritishogre #wheeloffortune #fyp

♬ original sound – Gishma

Following Gishma’s public blunder, she was hounded online by Wheel of Fortune viewers who were overcome with secondhand embarrassment and left “dying laughing.”

Wheel of Fortune contestant Gishma Tabari admits some social media comments were ‘hurtful’ regarding her puzzle blunder

While most of the social media comments were lighthearted, Gishma says that some of them were “hurtful.”

Speaking with Fox News Digital about her now-iconic incorrect puzzle guess, Gishma admitted that she feared she would make such a mistake during her time on the show.

In fact, she expressed her fears to her husband, Saman, right before she walked on set.

Gishma told Fox New Digital, “The funny part was, right before I went on, I went to my husband, Saman, and I was like, ‘My fear is that I’m gonna go on the show and I’m gonna say or do something stupid that everyone’s gonna laugh.'”

“That’s exactly what happened,” she added.

Gishma admitted that from the moment she looked at the puzzle board, her mind instantly focused on “The British Ogre” as the correct answer.

But in hindsight, she admits, “It doesn’t make sense.”

Gishma, a native of New York, told the outlet that she learned she was being mocked online after some of her friends pointed it out to her.

“I saw my picture, and I was like, ‘Oh my God. That’s me,'” she shared.

At first, Gishma’s stomach was “in knots” when she realized she was the topic of ridicule on social media.

“There were some hurtful comments,” she admitted.

But soon after, Gishma said that she wasn’t upset by the online chatter, chalking up her TV blunder to simply having a “hard moment” that played out on national television.

“If I could redo it, the only thing I would do is just have more fun and be less anxious,” Gishma added.

Gishma pokes fun at her Wheel of Fortune guess with a humorous jab at herself

Further proving that she’s no longer bothered by the negative attention she received for her on-air blunder, Gishma poked some fun at herself on Instagram.

In the post below, she inserted a cartoonish “British Ogre” character in a photo of herself during her appearance on the Wheel of Fortune.

In the lighthearted caption, Gishma wrote, “Sometimes when you’re anxious you just need a friend beside you.”

“Thank you to my favorite ‘British Ogre’ for calming me down. If only you didn’t appear right before I was about to solve maybe the whole world wouldn’t think I’m crazy. You and your Fomo, Sir Clyde 😅.”

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