Wheel of Fortune’s buzzer-beating puzzle solve shocks Pat Sajak: ‘I had to check with the judges!’

pat sajak Harry Friedman Star Ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Pat was stunned by a contestant’s Bonus Round performance. Pic credit: ©

Pat Sajak was just as shocked as a Wheel of Fortune contestant after pulling off a Bonus Round solve in the nick of time.

Contestants are under immense pressure to solve puzzles during their Bonus Rounds, often having little to work with to solve their puzzles — all while a studio audience looks on, as well as viewers at home, and they only have 10 seconds to do it.

Such was the case for a recent Wheel of Fortune player named Max, who opted for the “Phrase” category during his Bonus Round.

After Vanna White unveiled all of the consonants and vowels on the board, Max was left with a puzzle that read “_ E / _ R E / _ O _ _ N _ / _ O R _ _ R D.”

Host Pat Sajak wished Max good luck before he took a stab at the puzzle and a chance to win some big cash or prizes.

Once Max’s 10-second timer began to count down, he immediately began sounding out possible solutions.

Initially, Max came close, but no cigar, as he said aloud, “We are going forward.”

He continued to verbalize his guesses: “We are going … We are going on the record …”

Max solves his Bonus Round puzzle not a moment too soon

But with literally less than one second on the clock, Max was able to quickly blurt out, “We are moving forward!” which happened to be the correct answer.

The buzzer sounded as Max looked to Pat for confirmation that he got it right, but Pat hesitated for a moment.

After a few seconds’ pause, Pat told Max, “Yeah, that’s it, I think, right? When you put it all together…”

“I got it?!” Max asked, clearly surprised that he got the correct answer.

“You got it!” Pat reassured him.

Still, though, Max wasn’t convinced that he had won, so he grabbed Pat’s arm and asked him if he was serious.

“I had to check with the judges!” Pat revealed, explaining why he hesitated to announce Max’s win right away.

Pat noted that Max was able to get his answer out just before the buzzer went off, and his puzzle-solving prowess earned him a convertible Ford Mustang.

All in all, Max’s cash and prize winnings totaled an impressive $77,645 for the evening, including a trip to the Virgin Islands.

Maggie Sajak interviewed Max, and he revealed that Pat’s advice to keep talking helped him win

Following his appearance, Max spoke with Pat’s daughter, Maggie Sajak, who serves as the Wheel of Fortune Social Correspondent.

Maggie interviewed Max and revealed that his Wheel-watching habits are a “little unusual.”

Max revealed that he watches Wheel of Fortune in the mornings because it helps him get ready for his day.

“We watch it every day. It gets your mind going. We laugh… Pat’s hilarious. He always makes us laugh,” Max shared. “It just helps to start the day upbeat.”

Max then talked about his last-minute Bonus Round win and said that Pat Sajak’s tried and true advice to keep talking out possible puzzle solutions worked for him.

“I just kept talking, and all of a sudden, it just clicked,” Max revealed.

Maggie gave other Wheel of Fortune contestants some advice based on Max’s technique.

“Future players, pay attention!” Maggie told the camera. “Always talk through the puzzles!”

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments