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‘Pink’ orchid or ‘something’ orchid? Wheel of Fortune viewers react to answer scandal

It’s the ‘white and gold’ or ‘blue and black’ dress debate all over again: a scandal has divided Wheel of Fortune after a contestant lost the jackpot despite many hearing her say the correct answer.

During the latest episode of the US game show, which is returning to UK screens with Graham Norton as host later this year, Megan Carvale was given the chance to win the bonus prize of $40,000.

Presented with a phrase that had several letters omitted, Carvale had just 10 seconds to get the correct answer. As the clock counted down, she could be heard making several guesses, all of which were incorrect. Host Vanna White, who replaced long-time presenter Pat Sajak in 2023, then revealed the answer to be “pink orchid”.

However, many have been re-watching the moment back as they believed Carvale did, in fact, say “pink orchid” in the very first second. One viewer, Ashlee June, was so convinced that they shared the clip on X/Twitter, and wrote: “There is no question, she absolutely said “pink orchid”. Please give this girl her winnings! Rooting for you, Megan!”

In a debate echoing the white and gold/blue or back dress dilemma of 2015, the post has divided social media, with many agreeing that Carvale did get the answer right. But others are strenuously against this notion, arguing that the contestant actually said “something orchid”. (We’re team “something orchid”.)

“We thought the same and replayed the video,” one viewer wrote, adding: “She sounded pretty clear in saying ‘pink orchid’. Another added: “Why are sooo many people saying she said ‘something orchid’?? she had a few seconds to guess and already knew it started with ‘p’ so why would any contestant waste a word by saying ‘something.’ plus her mouth moves for a 1 syllable word.”

Wheel of Fortune contestant speaks out as viewers say she was ‘robbed’ in final round controversy. (Wheel of Fortune/ABC)
Wheel of Fortune contestant speaks out as viewers say she was ‘robbed’ in final round controversy. (Wheel of Fortune/ABC)

Others remained determined, though, with one social media user stating: “I easily hear “something orchid”, not pink. The ‘s’ sound at the start is unmistakable.”

Whether or not Wheel of Fortune, which airs on ABC in the US, will respond to the debate remains to be seen, but the fact that Carvale did not complain when the answer was revealed suggests she definitely did not say “pink orchid”.

Carvale won $14,007 in all, alongside a holiday to Aruba.

Wheel of Fortune has aired in the US since 1975. In the UK, the series – created by Merv Griffin – originally aired from 1988 to 2001, and was hosted over the years by Nicky Campbell, Bradley Walsh, John Leslie and Paul Hendy.

Their co-presenters included Angela Ekaette, Carol Smillie, Jenny Powell and Terri Seymour.

Graham Norton will host a revival for ITV later this year.