A little unfriendly competition? Pat Sajak teased a Wheel of Fortune contestant for being unable to solve a puzzle — and it led to an uncomfortable on-camera moment.
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The 76-year-old host made a somewhat snarky comment to a player named Ben during the Thursday, January 26, episode of the game show. The California resident was competing in the bonus round and attempting to figure out a puzzle in the Fun & Games category. There weren’t many letters filled in on the board, but Ben still gave it his best effort.
“Taunt a chuck guy? … Wacky guy. Taunt a wacky guy,” he guessed before the buzzer sounded.
Sajak weighed in on the attempt, teasing: “Wow, that was so unclose. You just didn’t have the letters.”
The answer was revealed to be “Taking a quick jog” — and Ben had the perfect response to his tough loss. “I just don’t consider jogging fun and games,” he quipped as he gave the camera a thumbs up.
The awkward moment was uploaded via the ABC show’s official Instagram page after the episode with a caption that read, “He has a point 🤔😂.”
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It wouldn’t be the first time Sajak has found himself raising eyebrows among viewers. During a March 2022 episode, the Chicago native was left unimpressed by a player’s introduction story — but Wheel of Fortune fans came to the contestant’s defense.
“That may have been the most pointless story ever told. And you told it, Scott. Congratulations to you,” Sajak said, shaking his head after the player told a tale about nearly losing his big toe and sent a shout-out to the first responders who helped him.
Viewers were quick to share their takes on the segment. “When did #Patsajak get so cold-blooded?” one Twitter user wondered, while another called Sajak “a grumpy old dude.”
A third social media user wrote: “I felt so bad for the contestant. Pat Sajak should be well aware of how mean it is to belittle someone on nationwide television.”
Spin the Wheel! Pat Sajak and Vanna White’s Friendship Through the Years
The Daytime Emmy winner began hosting Wheel of Fortune in 1981 and was joined by longtime costar Vanna White one year later. The twosome formed a strong bond throughout their time on the hangman-inspired game show, but Sajak recently hinted that his tenure as host might be coming to a close.
“We’re getting near the end,” he told Entertainment Tonight in September 2022. “We’re not gonna do this for another 40 years. The end is near.”
He teased at the time that “this show will not die,” adding that he felt grateful to have such a solid streak on the air. “It’s an honor to have been in people’s living rooms for that long,” he said. “People were out there welcoming us. We’re happy and proud.”
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