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    ‘Wheel of Fortune’: Audi to Gift Contestant a Car Following ‘Unfair’ Loss

    After a timing technicality caused Wheel of Fortune contestant Charlene Rubush to lose out on taking home a brand-new Audi on Tuesday, December 21’s episode, the company will gift the contestant a car following viewer outcry over her “unfair” loss.

    Advancing to the final round of the episode with the category “What Are You Doing,” Charlene incorrectly guessed the phrase “choosing the right card” before correcting herself by changing her answer to “choosing the right word.” Her unfortunate loss came from the seconds-long pause between the words “right” and “word,” as host Pat Sajak clarified that answers have “got to be more or less continuous.”

    Charlene’s loss sparked a major debate among fans regarding what time pauses should be considered acceptable during final round guessing, with one fan comparing the incident to others like it, concluding that the show tends to “draw the line at 3 or 4 seconds.” Other fans also took to social media to express their opinions, both for and against the timing rule.

    After former Jeopardy! contestant Alex Jacob’s tweet garnered lots of traction, Audi announced the news of Charlene’s gift the following day, tweeting, “You’re a winner in our eyes, Charlene. Now, let’s get you a prize. Time to #GiveHerTheQ3.” In an article by Newsweek, an Audi spokesperson stated, “[We] saw Charlene’s Wheel of Fortune episode on Monday and were collectively disappointed that she missed out on the opportunity to take home an Audi Q3 due to a technicality. So in the spirit of the holidays, Audi of America will be gifting her with an all-new Audi Q3.”

    The decision brings up the question of whether the show should penalize contestants for response pauses, despite providing a correct answer. While it is unknown if the rule will ever change, Charlene is certainly feeling grateful this holiday season thanks to Audi and supportive Wheel of Fortune fans.

    Wheel of Fortune, Syndicated, check local listings

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