With just the letter “L” revealed, "Wheel of Fortune" contestant Caitlin Burke managed to floor veteran host Pat Sajak by solving this 27-letter puzzle:
“I’ve got a good feeling about this.”
"Is it just me, or was that the most amazing solve we've ever had?" exclaimed a dumbfounded Sajack.
The answer won Caitlin $900 and a Caribbean vacation.
The 26 year-old Manhattan resident knew she had the right answer all along.
“I didn’t hesitate once I got that ‘L’,” Caitlin told FOX411.com. “I was like, ‘Oh—this is what it is.’ I just guessed it and it ended up working out just fine!”
The winning moment, which aired on Friday, November 5, was so quick and decisive that it had some pundits wondering if Caitlin was less than honest in her win.
“I think she cheated with help from someone on the inside who simply gave her the information beforehand,” professional casino cheating expert Richard Marcus told FOX411.com. “What I can tell you is that the spinning of the wheel had nothing to do with it, nor was this a similar scam to what happened a few times on the show 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' where contestants were getting help from the audience.”
“For those who think I cheated, I say, ‘How?’ I don’t understand,” Caitlin told FOX411.com. “I would love to know how people think I cheated at that game—like what, I had it written on my hand? How would I even know it would be a puzzle? Or what, I snuck backstage? I don’t even know how that stuff works. I mean, if I was cheating, I probably would have cheated in a smarter way and rigged the wheel so I made more money.”
Las Vegas-based casino consultant George Joseph agrees.
“There’s no vested interest for the show, or anyone connected with it, to run the risk of cheating. It’s not like it would make the show better," he said. "At the end of the day, the contestant only won $900 and a trip. That’s your first clue she didn’t cheat.”
Caitlin, who’s planning on celebrating her birthday in March by bringing her boyfriend, Jeff Esposito, on her winning vacation, has some advice for future "Wheel of Fortune" contestants.
“If you look at the end of a word and understand how letter endings work, you can work from there. For example, if there’s an ‘N’ in a word, there’s usually a ‘G’. If there’s a three-letter word, it’s probably ‘T-H-E’—things like that," she said. "Common sense is underrated—you can really solve a lot by understanding the way words are formed.”
Good advice indeed!