Drew Magary on Twitter
Wheel Of Fortune may create more commonly viral mishaps than any other game show out there, but rarely do they turn out to be as poetic as someone declaring “victory” and immediately losing.
The latest victim of the show’s rules is contestant Alex Lisenko, who was leading headed into the show’s final puzzle of the night and appeared headed for the bonus round as a 16-letter, two-word puzzle came into focus. He guessed a “Y,” and even show host Pat Sajak seemed to know that Lisenko was ready to finish things off.
And then hubris, or perhaps just a moment of excitement he will forever regret, struck out of the blue.
Oh man this guy ate shit so bad pic.twitter.com/VKiKRl315e
— Drew Magary (@drewmagary) November 17, 2020
“I’m declaring victory,” Lisenko said, raising his hands in time. Well, that’s nice, but like Michael Scott declaring bankruptcy, saying it doesn’t mean it happened. Lisenko was wrong, the next contestant solved it and Lisenko missed out on a nice payday.
So what went wrong here? Well, when you’re solving a puzzle you can’t add in any extra words that are not on the board. And so despite the fact that he had the “declaring victory” part perfect, putting anything before the puzzle phrase means he actually guessed it wrong. It was a brutal loss, and the camera work many at home did showed how hard the poor guy took it. Lisenko clearly knew the answer, and he was a strong player throughout the game. But a moment of excitement proved to be too much, and his declaration turned out to be extremely premature. He did end up winning the game and getting to the bonus round, but that wasn’t what got a lot of people talking on social media.
another classic wheel of fortune L “I’m declaring victory” lmao pic.twitter.com/lazHrNcNWN
— Wood Slanga (@anthme) November 17, 2020
"I'm declaring victory!" – Wheel of Fortune. That was the funniest thing I've seen in awhile. #WheelOfFortune
— トリシャー‧ライサー(タウンセン) (@ninomihime) November 17, 2020
Trump every day after the election. #wheeloffortune pic.twitter.com/YE5q6pLwMJ
— Michael (@michaelcollado) November 17, 2020
There’s a special cruelty to the moment in that the category was “What Are You Doing?” It almost seems like a setup in a way. And unfortunately for Alex, he fell for it. Hook, line, and loser.