Lifestyle & Human Interest

Was She Cheated Out of $100k? 'Wheel of Fortune' Accused of Ignoring College Kid's Correct Answer


Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.

What did you hear?

There was a bit of controversy on an April 6 episode of “Wheel of Fortune.”

College student Alexa Hoekstra made it to the bonus round of the long-running game show after already amassing roughly $20,000.

After choosing the category of “What are you doing?” and picking letters, the board read, “__ST _IN_ING IT.”

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Host Pat Sajak informed Hoekstra she had 10 seconds to try to solve the phrase and wished her “good luck.”

What happened during those seconds sent fans of the show into a frenzy online to give their opinion on whether or not she actually solved it.

Hoekstra seemed to state “Just Winning It,” among other guesses, rather than the correct answer of “Just Winging It.”

After the buzzer rang, Sajak stated, “You were right there.”

Hoekstra replied, “So close,” and missed out on the prize of $100,000.

“I think you folks just denied this girl $100k …I sure heard ‘Just Winging It,'” one Twitter user wrote.

Another stated, “She said both. Just winging it and then Just winning it. I’m done with this show. Retire Pat. It’s time.”

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But others agreed with Sajak’s decision, with one stating, “She didn’t think she said it, so that should tell you all you need to know.”

“I watched, hoping to hear she got robbed and was owed the money. Sadly, she said ‘winning,'” another added.

Hoekstra attends Texas Women’s University in Denton. Prior to the airing of the show, Hoekstra was interviewed by the university’s paper, The Lasso, and stated the desire to be on “Wheel of Fortune” came from her grandmother.

Did Alexa get cheated out of $100,000?

She recalled, “My meemaw has always been an avid watcher of ‘Wheel of Fortune.’ Every dinner we had with her we were watching the show.”

“I saw the ad [for ‘Wheel of Fortune’] and immediately thought of her and wanted to get on. It was so cool getting to fill an item on her bucket list and have her travel with me to the show. She just turned 70 and has always wanted to see a taping of an episode,” Hoekstra added.

While Hoekstra has not addressed any of the online chatter surrounding her episode, she did comment about the experience on Linkedin.

“Last night was my air date! It was an amazing experience and I am so proud to represent my university!”

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