Method to the madness? Wheel of Fortune whiz draws blanks in final round

“Wheel of Fortune” has been an hugely popular game show ever since its debut in 1975. Contestants spin a giant wheel to find out how much they’ll rack up for guessing missing letters in word puzzles — but to keep the money, they have to solve the puzzle. In the final round, there’s no wheel. Instead, the contestants take quick turns guessing letters. Part of the fun for people watching on TV is seeing if they can beat the contestants to the answers. Since 1982, the show has been hosted by Pat Sajak and lovely letter flipper Vanna White.

In 2015, “Wheel” did its first “Veterans Week,” honoring those who have served in the armed forces. Naturally, the contestants themselves were veterans. One of them, Nura Fountano, was obviously a Wheel of Fortune whiz. She went into the final round with a commanding lead over the other two contestants — Nura was guaranteed to win the whole thing.

The final round puzzle was two words with the clue “What are you doing?” With only a couple of Ts on the board, Nura guessed the rather unlikely Z. Pat Sajak was so surprised he asked her to repeat herself! Nope, no Z. On her next turn, she let the clock run out and then the turn after that guessed the wildly unlikely X. Nope, no X either. Then it was back to letting the clock run out. Finally, one of the others solved the puzzle. Nura was still the overall winner, but her bizarre play in the final round sent the others home with some extra money.

Afterward, Sajack asked Nura about the unusual letters she guessed. She said simply, “That’s what I saw.” The only obvious explanation is that she deliberately threw the final round as a way of sharing the wealth with her fellow veterans.

Check out the video posted below and let us know what you think of the way Nura played it. We’d love to hear from you in the comments at Facebook. Don’t forget to like and share!