'Wheel of Fortune' viewers dismayed by oversights during Pat Sajak's 40th anniversary episode: 'Unacceptable'

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Tuesday marked Pat Sajak’s 40th year hosting “Wheel of Fortune” but the episode that aired on his big day left viewers confused for a couple of reasons.

Maggie Sajak announced the longtime host’s special day on Twitter, writing, “Happy 40th Wheel-iversary to this guy! On this day in 1981,@patsajak hosted his very first episode of @WheelofFortune…and the rest is history!”

And it was a feat Sajak expressed excitement about himself when listing off his upcoming milestones on the social media platform last week. 

“What a week! Dec 25…Christmas Day. Dec 28…40th anniversary of my first “Wheel” on NBC daytime. Dec 31…32nd wedding anniversary. Jan 1…2022 begins. And it almost has to be better than 2021, doesn’t it? Well, doesn’t it?” he wrote.

So there were a few viewers left perplexed when Tuesday’s episode aired without any mention of Sajak’s 40 years on the game show. 

“WOW! Not one mention of Pat Sajak’s 40 year anniversary on last night’s Wheel of Fortune??? This is unacceptable,” one fan wrote.

“Wow! No mention of Pat’s 40th year on #WheelofFortune tonight?” another tweet reads.

Loyal viewers of the show will remember Charlene Rubush’s game that went viral last week when she was not allowed to collect on a brand-new Audi Q3 in the Bonus Round because she paused a bit too long between words in her answer while correctly solving the puzzle. 

Just before the buzzer, Rubush said “Choosing the right… word.”

Unfortunately, that brief pause before the last word was more significant than she thought, as host Sajak explained. 

Viewers questioned why Tuesday night’s "Wheel of Fortune" episode didn’t make mention of Pat Sajak’s 40th anniversary as host.
(Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

“You know, this one’s tough because you said all the right words, including the word ‘word’ but, as you know, it’s gotta be more or less continuous. We’ll allow for a little pause but not four or five seconds. I’m sorry. You did a good job in getting it, but we can’t give you the prize, and it was the Audi.”

Fans took to Twitter to complain about the technicality and demand that the contestant receives her Audi for getting the answer correct in the allotted time. And it appeared to work out in Rubush’s favor because the car maker confirmed to Fox News that the contestant will be receiving her Audi Q3 after all.

Vanna White and Pat Sajak.
(Eric McCandless/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

“In the spirit of the holidays, we are thrilled to gift Charlene with an all-new Audi Q3.” said Tara Rush, Audi of America Chief Marketing Officer. “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!” 

Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.

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