Wacky Wheel of Fortune and Spelling Bee bonus rounds

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

Sophia Hoffman and Kush Sharma, the Spelling Bee masters.

Game shows and school competitions are always a blast, as people match their wits and knowledge against one another for prizes like cash or trophies. Sometimes, a competitor is so spectacular, they move on to a bonus round. In the past few weeks, the popular Wheel of Fortune show and Missouri’s Jackson County Spelling Bee had some incredibly unusual bonus rounds!

On Wednesday night, Wheel of Fortune contestant Emil de Leon was given nothing more than the first two letters “NE” of a three-letter word, followed by blanks for a four-letter word and five-letter word… in the ultra-vague category of “thing”. Somehow, in what can only be described as a feat of semi-psychic ability or jaw-dropping luck, he magically guessed “NEW BABY BUGGY” and won $45,000 for the bonus round! That shocking win led Pat Sajak, the longtime host of Wheel of Fortune, to tweet, “Tonight’s ‘Wheel of Fortune’ features most amazing solve in my 30+ years on the show. No kidding.”

Meanwhile, in another wacky bonus round ending to a word game, the Jackson County Spelling Bee in Missouri took 90 rounds and a 2-week delay from February into March to conclude. See, 11-year-old Sophia Hoffman and 13-year-old Kush Sharma were forced into a tiebreaking duel when the organizers of the original final round actually ran out of words! Then, in a 30-round tiebreaker, Hoffman lost after spelling “stifling” incorrectly, while Sharma won by spelling “definition” correctly. Even though the contestants and their families had tried getting officials to let both of them move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee level, only Sharma will be going forward.

Featured image courtesy of Sony. Image of Spelling Bee finalists courtesy of Jackson County Spelling Bee Facebook.