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As a contestant on “Wheel of Fortune,” you either win the game or lose it. But one contestant, Charlene Rubush, lost the game and then ended up winning. Not only did she win a bunch of money, but she also ended up with a brand-new Audi Q3 that she technically didn’t win.

Rubush suffered a controversial loss on the final round of “Wheel of Fortune”

Host Pat Sajak performs during a taping of the NFL Players Week 10th Anniversary on Wheel Of Fortune.
Host Pat Sajak performs during a taping of the NFL Players Week 10th Anniversary on Wheel Of Fortune. | Doug Benc/Getty Images for PLAYERS INC

When it comes to playing “Wheel of Fortune,” there’s nothing more daunting than standing there in the final round and having to solve the puzzle in one shot. That’s exactly where Rubush found herself on an episode of “Wheel” that aired last month, however, she actually solved the puzzle correctly. In the final moments of the game, Rubush correctly called out “CHOOSING THE RIGHT WORD” as the answer to the puzzle, but it came a little too late.

TMZ reported that host Pat Sajak and the judges deemed that Rubush paused too long when finishing the phrase, even though she completed it right before the buzzer sounded.

“You said all of the right words including the word ‘word,’ but as you know, it’s got to be more or less continuous. We’ll allow for a little pause but not 4 or 5 seconds. I’m sorry, but we can’t give you the prize,” Sajak said during the show.

That grand prize was a brand-new Audi Q3. Viewers were understandably outraged at the outcome. To make matters worse, it happened right before Christmas.

Audi stepped up to the plate and gave Rubush the prize

Vanna White standing next to the "Wheel of Fortune" game board
Vanna White standing next to the “Wheel of Fortune” game board | Getty Images

The next day, Audi announced via Twitter that it was going to give Rubush the Q3 anyway. Motor1 reports that the process was accelerated thanks to many users on the social media platform who used the hashtag “#GiveHertheQ3,” which helped Audi track Rubush down. The automaker was able to get in touch with her and deliver her a brand new Q3 courtesy of Audi of Henderson in Nevada.

“In the spirit of the holidays, we are thrilled to gift Charlene with an all-new Audi Q3,” Tara Rush, Audi of America Chief Marketing Officer, announced on Twitter. “It is the season of giving after all and, technicality or not, we are always eager to share a bit of Audi magic and cheer!”

Rubush had already won $16,500 before getting to the final round of the game, but the Audi Q3 was quite the Christmas gift and addition to that sweet cash prize.

How much is a 2022 Audi Q3 worth?

2022 Audi Q3 luxury SUV, is it better than the 2022 Acura RDX in price, features, technology, fuel economy, and more?
2022 Audi Q3 | Audi

A 2022 Audi Q3 has a starting MSRP of $35,900 for the entry-level Premium model in front-drive form. However, that price can easily add up to around $42,000 for the higher Premium Plus with the Quattro AWD system. It’s not clear which trim level Rubush received or how much the automotive prize was worth. However, the main point is that the contestant rightfully received what many viewers, and Audi, thought that she deserved.

Ironically, it all came down to the last second and it’s a good thing that she chose the right word.


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