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Americans Shocked by Simple Mistake on TV Game Show

A screen shot of the "Wheel of Fortune" board from March 21, 2017.
A screen shot of the "Wheel of Fortune" board from March 21, 2017.
Americans Shocked by Simple Mistake on TV Game Show
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This is What’s Trending Today.

An American television program called “Wheel of Fortune” made news on Wednesday.

Wheel of Fortune is a game show. Each show usually has three players. They attempt to solve word puzzles by guessing letters, one at a time. The players use the letters to complete words, names or expressions. They win money if they call out the correct letters and solve the puzzle.

Wheel of Fortune was first broadcast on American television in the 1970s. Many countries now have their own version of the TV show.

In the program broadcast Tuesday night, a contestant named Kevin had a chance to solve the puzzle. He and the other players were given a clue: to think of the name of a famous play.

All Kevin had to do was identify the last remaining letter correctly and he would win.

Before his final spin of the wheel, the puzzle read: “A Streetcar N-A-_-E-D Desire.”

This week, Wheel of Fortune is recognizing the southern United States. Most of the puzzles are related to something from the south.

Many people thought Tuesday night’s puzzle was easy to solve. It was the name of a famous play set in the southern state of Louisiana: “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

Tennessee Williams wrote the play in 1947. “A Streetcar Named Desire” won the Pulitzer Prize, an award given to American writers and publications. The play, and the film version, starred Marlon Brando. In 1951, the film won three Academy Awards.

“A Streetcar Named Desire” is one of the most well-known American plays of the 20th century.

But what letter did Kevin call out to solve the puzzle? He asked for the letter “k.”

No one watching the show could believe his mistake.

People in the TV production studio groaned.

Pat Sajak is the show’s host. All he could do, was say “nooo,” sadly.

The next contestant, Lisa, easily solved the puzzle, and won $1,000.

People on social media have been talking about the mistake since the show was broadcast.

One person said the mistake made him want to go lie down.

Another said “I feel so alive.”

Sajak told Lisa: “although you got the right answer, I’d rather see Kevin’s play.”

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

What do you think of Kevin’s mistake? We want to know. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.


Words in This Story

contestant n. a person who takes part in a contest

guessn. an attempt to give an opinion or answer about something when you do not know much about it or are not sure about it

spinv. to turn or cause someone or something to turn around repeatedly

groanv. to make a deep sound because of pain or some strong emotion (such as grief or disappointment)

hostn. a radio or television presenter