'Wheel of Fortune' Contestant Loses 'Declaring Victory' Puzzle With a Cringeworthy Mistake

Wheel of Fortune contestant Alex Lisenko learned a valuable lesson: never add words to a puzzle that don’t belong.

The contestant had been having a pretty successful run on the Nov. 16 episode of the popular game show when he made one fatal flub for the sake of the sound bite.

Alex Lisenko declared victory too early on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

Lisenko was already far ahead in winnings from his fellow contestants when one particular toss-up puzzle threw him for a loop. The answer to the puzzle was “declaring victory,” and Lisenko, knowing he was about to declare victory in the round, called a Y onto the board and confidently said, “I’m declaring victory!” He even stretched out his arms and flashed a glorious smile to really celebrate what he thought would be a toss-up puzzle win.

But he made one glaring mistake: He added “I’m” to the beginning of his answer, making his response incorrect. Host Pat Sajak didn’t even acknowledge his answer and moved on to the next contestant, who correctly stated “declaring victory.” It was one of the most cringeworthy moments Wheel of Fortune has seen in recent episodes.

Pat Sajak explained why ‘I’m declaring victory’ was the wrong answer

The look on Lisenko’s face after his puzzle loss was that of complete disbelief and confusion. Even his fellow contestants thought he had won the puzzle.

But as Sajak explained afterwards, “Alex, you look a little puzzled. But you added a word! You said, ‘I’m declaring victory’ and you’re not allowed to do that. You have to just say the puzzle. You know what I’m saying?”

This is the kind of awkward moment where the Wheel of Fortune rules really get you. The rules are quite strict when it comes to adding superfluous words. Later in the episode, Lisenko won $10K with the mystery wedge, and Sajak was sure to remind him not to add anything.

“I’d like to solve the puzzle,” Lisenko said.

As Sajak responded, “All right. Say everything, don’t add anything. Go ahead.”

The internet can’t get over Alex Lisenko’s ‘Wheel of Fortune’ flub

“I didn’t even know I said I’m,” Lisenko replied.

“Yeah, yeah you did,” Sajak said back. “You were so excited. Take my word.”

People on Twitter can’t get over the cringeworthy moment.

“That’s more brutal than forgetting to answer a Jeopardy question in the form of a question,” one user wrote.

“You can’t just declare victory and expect it to happen,” joked another.

One Twitter user commented on how awkward the moment was. “Oh man this guy ate sh*t so bad,” he tweeted.

Another compared him to a football player mistakenly celebrating a touchdown.

“Like the player who is dancing into the end zone and drops the ball at the 1,” they wrote.

Don’t feel too bad for him, everyone. While his mistake cost him $7,500, Lisenko was able to declare victory in the end. He ended up making it to the bonus round, and although he didn’t solve that puzzle (and lost out on a Jeep Compass Latitude as a result), he went home with $32,820 in winnings.

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