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'Wheel Of Misfortune' Tongue Slip Is Potential $1M Mistake

"It was painful," Oregon firefighter and beer brewer Paul Atkinson tells CNN's New Day of a now infamous moment on Wheel of Fortune that cost him a chance to win $1 million.

In case you've missed it, on a Wheel episode that aired Tuesday night, Atkinson had gotten this far toward solving a puzzle:

CORNER

CURIO

CA_INET

Then Atkinson declared he had the answer, and said: "Corno Curo Cabinet!"

"BZZZ" went the buzzer to signal that he'd blown it.

Fellow contestant Luis Hernandez then gave the correct solution: "Corner Curio Cabinet."

Videos of Atkinson's moment of misfortune are popping up on YouTube.

The problem, he tells New Day, is that he'd never seen the word "curio" before and was so stressed out about correctly pronouncing it that corner "came out corno."

Some accounts on the Web make it sound as if Atkinson was about to be a $1 million winner. That's not true, he says: "It would have [still] been a five- or six-step process to get the $1 million."

Is he angry at the folks who produce Wheel? No. He's only angry at himself, Atkinson says.

Last month, Jeopardy ruled that a 12-year-old Connecticut boy was wrong when he wrote "What is the Emanciptation Proclamation?" instead of "What is the Emancipation Proclamation?" The clue was "Abraham Lincoln called this document, which took effect in 1863, 'a fit and necessary war measure.' "

(H/T to the NPR Newscast crew.)

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.