Wheel of Fortune rarely gets the press that its evening game show sister Jeopardy! does. But when it does, it’s usually because a contestant made a doozy of a blunder. (Sometimes that contestant is Snoop Dogg.) Monday saw one that wasn’t so much an epic gaffe as a mini-tragedy, with one player who was so close, and yet so far away, from a cool million.
Per Decider, that contestant’s name was Izzy Santiago, who earlier in the show bragged to host Pat Sajak about his “good memory,” and how his brain “takes pictures of numbers and letters, and it just remembers it.”
Alas, that trick did not help him when he lucked into nabbing a $1 million slat on the wheel, with only a couple letters remaining. At the time the puzzle read “_RA_I_G _AME_ FROM A HAT.” Santiago’s total was $2,250. There were no vowels left, so Sajak instructed him to “spin it or solve it.”
Santiago decided to solve it. “Drawing games from a hat,” he replied. As you might surmise, he was one letter off. One of his opponents, Frankie, subsequently guessed correctly with “drawing names from a hat.”
Sajak took pity on Santiago, telling him, “You know, in addition to the regular nervousness you get up here, now here’s a million dollars, and all this stuff, and what am I doing?”
Santiago agreed that he just “got so nervous.”
We all have massive brain farts now and then, but most of us don’t have them on television, while playing a game, with a million bucks at stake. Poor Izzy. This one stinks.