Wheel of Fortune ended its season on a high note Friday when a competitor solved the bonus round puzzle almost as fast as the car he won.
Mark Anselmo, a financial planner from Temecula, Calif., wowed host Pat Sajak with his quick skills on the season 38 finale. Mark dominated most of the game, correctly guessing six of nine puzzles, according to The Wheel of Fortune Blog.
So heading into the bonus round, Mark had already banked more than $18,000. Though, the final puzzle looked like could pose a big problem.
After starting the bonus round with the given RSTLNE, the board looked like this: _ _ R _ E R /_ _ _ _. Mark chose MKDO. That left the puzzle a little easier but by no means a gimme. Though, he at least had something to work with as the Wheel of Fortune board reading _ O R _ E R / _ O _ K.
Mark guessed the correct answer in a little over a second with his first attempt.
For his puzzling abilities, Mark took home a new Mercedes Benz coupe. That brought the total value of his cash and prizes up to more than $71,000.
Fans on Twitter were excited to see the show go out on such a high note.
“You love to see it! See you next season, Wheel. Thanks for keeping us entertained during these strange times,” one person posted. “Ahhh… No more chances to win till summers over boohoo!” wrote another.
“Absolutely amazing!! That’s a great way to wrap up season 38. Congratulations!! And of course, happy Father’s Day to all the dads from around the world,” someone else wrote. The final week of shows was dedicated to dads and the only contestants were fathers.
It’s Been a Big Year for ‘Wheel of Fortune’
This season saw a lot of highs and lows for Wheel of Fortune contestants, but the bonus round is where the show is at its best. This year, Wheel of Fortune gave away more than $11 million in cash and prizes during the bonus round. That includes 26 cars, including two Subaru Outbacks, 2 Mercedes-Benzes, and 3 Ford Mustangs, among many others, the Wheel of Fortune Blog said.
Though, only 76 of the 195 final contestants won their bonus round. That’s a batting average of .389.
But it wasn’t all sunshine for contestants. Players lost more than $1 million in total this season when they landed on the bankruptcy tile.
It was also a big year for Wheel of Fortune hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White. Sajak’s son finished medical school. And his daughter Maggie, who is a Princeton and Columbia grad, took over the show’s social media accounts during college week.
And Vanna White’s “baby boy” Nikko turned 27 earlier this week. She posted a very cute photo to commemorate the moment.