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Did 'Wheel of Fortune' judges act unfairly?

Contestant mispronounces word and loses $1 million shot

By Mekeisha Madden Toby Sep 18, 2013 10:20AM

'Wheel of Fortune'/King World


Sometimes, how you say something is all that matters.


This certainly was the case when Paul Atkinson, a bow-tie clad firefighter and beer brewer from Oregon, competed on "Wheel of Fortune" Tuesday night. After spinning the wheel and grabbing a $1 million placard, Atkinson attempted to solve the puzzle and claim his jackpot. But instead of saying "Corner curio cabinet," he said "Corner curo cabinet" and lost. Yikes! 


Bing: 'Wheel of Fortune'  | More: Amazing moments in game show history


Check out the the video for yourself:


As you can see, Atkinson clearly flubbed the pronunciation of "curio." But the question is, were the "Wheel of Fortune" judges too harsh? If they were, they were no meaner than the "Jeopardy" judges who penalized a 12-year-old Connecticut boy for misspelling "emancipation" last month.  


Plus: What to look for at the Emmys | Surprising Emmy winners | Emmy winner predictions


What do you think? Should the "Wheel of Fortune" judges have been more lenient or did they make the right call? Weigh in below or on MSN TV's Facebook and Twitter pages.


Also: This is how you win $1 million on 'Wheel of Fortune'


"Wheel of Fortune" airs weekdays in syndication. Check your local listings.   

Apr 12, 2014 5:02PM
He solved the puzzle with his letter choices, I don't agree with the outcome, he should have won the money, he just couldnt pronuounce it correctly, everyone knew what he meant. I wonder if the outcome would have been different if it had been a 1,000 prize
Sep 23, 2013 7:43AM
That was just splitting hairs to save a million dollars. Very unfair!
Sep 23, 2013 6:42AM

We all have words we don't say right, there's words the judges can't say right either, not fair they just don't want to give the money shame on them.


Sep 22, 2013 2:59PM
they should have given him the prize, its his accent . Not everyone has the same elocution or annunciation of words. "you say tomatoe I say tomahto, you say potatoe, I say potahto...." Give him the
million dollars, he's a fire fighter risking his life daily!

Sep 22, 2013 11:53AM
This goes way beyond Wheel of Fortune. The thinking of so many people in the country is that it is "never their fault". Always blame it on the "system", the judges or any other entity they can come up with. We all need to take responsibility for our own mistakes. (by the way, I haven't heard the contestant complaining).  A case in point---the 300 teenagers who trashed the former football players home Labor Day weekend. He tracked down some of the names, posted them on social media and now is threatened by the parents!   Wouldn't you think they would want their children to be held responsible??? Aah, the world we live in.
Sep 22, 2013 11:46AM
What if, where he was raised, that was the way they pronounced the word? I believe he should have had a chance to pronounce the word again. I realize he was only winning the chance to play for the million, if he was the high winner.
Sep 22, 2013 11:24AM
HE GOT CHEATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  He knew what the word was and I think it is a disgrace that they did not award the prize.
Sep 22, 2013 10:12AM
I think it goes far beyond Wheel of Fortune. One of the big problems in our country is this idea that we need to make exceptions for EVERYTHING.  .Those 300 kids that trashed the football players house--now some of the parents are threatening to sue him because he exposed their names! When are we going to get back to taking responsibility for our own actions??
Sep 22, 2013 10:09AM
I think he mumbled the word not so sure he pronounced it wrong, they should have had him repeat it.
Sep 22, 2013 10:04AM
The word he mispronounced was already spelled out so weather he said it correctly shouldn't matter coming up with the word missing the letter was the object so yes he was robbed of the win, if his jackpot wasn't so large they wouldn't have cared.
Sep 21, 2013 9:29PM
the other person mispronounced the word also he said cabinets and it was cabinet.what was that all about and he won. They should have dis both then.
Sep 21, 2013 9:25PM
Sep 21, 2013 9:22PM
Yes, curio does have three not two...not thinking straight today!!!
Sep 21, 2013 3:39PM
I wasn't asking for a million, I just thought he was entitled to the monies he had on the screen
Sep 21, 2013 3:20PM
That was my point you idiots!  Just because "one" sounds like "won" doesn't make it right! 
Sep 21, 2013 10:01AM
Sorry...He needs to learn how to speak English, as well as read it. WHAT?? Did I say READ??? Look, the word is on the board for him to READ! He screwed up and that's all. Like the kid on JEOPARDY, he needs to learn how to spell. I DID. What's happening to our kids these days? OH, education spending is being cut by the GOP, that's what!
Sep 21, 2013 9:59AM
The judges made the right call.  Had it been another contestant doing the same thing without having possession of the million dollar wedge, there would be no controversy.  Besides which, who's to say he would have won the whole evening and picked the million dollar folder?
Sep 21, 2013 9:58AM

I liked the flub where the puzzle read.......


Clam _igger......


The guy asked for an "N" and Pat Sajak had a funny look on his face.


The phrase was Clam Digger 

Sep 21, 2013 9:57AM
If there was any question or if it was this close, the judges should have asked the contestant to repeat what he said, and if he made a real mistake then he would have lost --BUT, in this case the question was the missing letter in the lower word and he actually got that word correct, so the judges were actually wrong here.
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