‘Wheel of Fortune’ Fans React After Contestant Loses on ‘Unfair’ Ruling

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An unlucky Wheel of Fortune contestant cost themselves a trip to Mexico after missing one tiny two-letter word from their spoken answer.

Now many fans are saying that the ruling was “too tough” and “unfair.”

Last Thursday’s (May 16) episode saw a face-off between Kerry Ruiz, a wellness studio co-owner from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Amanda Morris, a billiards player from Wilmington, North Carolina, and Dee Merritt, a Navy sexual assault response coordinator from Portsmouth, Virginia.

During the Express Round, the three contestants were faced with a six-word “Phrase” puzzle that read, “_ N O _ _ / I T / O _ T / O F / T H E / _ _ _ _.”

Merritt was first to take a guess at solving the puzzle, answering, “Knock it out the park.”

At first glance her answer seemed completely correct to many viewers. But it wasn’t precise enough.

“I’m sorry,” host Pat Sajak responded as the buzzer sounded to indicate Merritt was incorrect. Sajak then turned to Ruiz, asking, “Kerry, your turn; what would you like to do?”

Ruiz chose to solve and answered, “Knock it out OF the park,” which was deemed correct. Ruiz was rewarded with a trip to the Margaritaville Island Reserve in Riviera Maya worth $10,000.

While there didn’t seem to be a significant difference in the responses, Merritt omitted the word “of,” which allowed Ruiz to scoop in with the correct answer. As per the Wheel rules, contestants are required to say all words included in the answer, and they must be pronounced correctly. So even though it could be argued that most folks say “Knock it out the park” Pat Sajak was looking for the word “of” to be included too.

A clip of the moment was later shared on TikTok and X (formerly Twitter), and fans had mixed reactions to the ruling.

@darbinkz Bro #wheeloffortune #forgotaword ♬ original sound – Dario Bongiorni

“‘Knock it out the park’ is grammatically correct,” wrote one viewer on X. “‘Of’ is an extra word in that sentence, totally unnecessary.”

“That was messed up,” added another.

“Sajak made the right call,” said another commenter.

“She left an entire word out. Of course she’s incorrect,” added another.

One fan wrote, “Honestly, people act as if a contestant has never missed a word.”

Merritt never got back into the game after this setback, while Ruiz went on to win the episode with $20,000.

Was Sajak’s ruling too harsh? Or did he make the right decision? Let us know in the comments below.

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