Wheel of Fortune Controversy

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By James Dinan

CNN

(CNN) — The current incarnation of the game show “Wheel of Fortune” has been on in some form since 1975, and is the longest-running syndicated game show in U.S. television history.

Nothing much happens on “Wheel” that would get a viewer’s blood boiling, but a pair of pronunciation errors last week has many fans irate and demanding answers.

The problems began December 19, when contestant Renee Durette was ruled incorrect when she failed to pronounce the “G” in the phrase “Seven Swans-A-Swimming.” The gaffe cost Durette nearly $4,000, and she went on to lose the game.

Fans took to Twitter and other social media sites to complain about the ruling and to ask “Wheel” to give Durette a second chance. However, former “Wheel” contestants are also speaking out, saying that players are warned before show tapings that answers must be read exactly as they appear on the puzzle board to be ruled correct. And the show has said the answer was illegal as it was spoken in vernacular.

The December 20 episode featured another pronunciation issue when contestant Michael Rufus won $4,600 with “Hickory-Smoked Country Ham.” Yet when he says the phrase, he appears to miss the letter “D” in the word “smoked.”

“Wheel” has not commented on the Michael Rufus ruling.