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“Wheel of Fortune” broke with tradition and allowed a contestant to appear on the show twice due to a “production issue.”
A recent episode of the hit game show saw contestant Tony Harrison, a software project manager from Valencia, Calif. take a commanding lead and perform well above average, ultimately taking home the big win and a very hearty cash prize. However, “Wheel” host Pat Sajak revealed that Harrison may have had an advantage given that he previously appeared on the show.
“If Tony looks familiar -- this is Tony Harrison, who's been here before,” the host said while introducing the contestants. “We had a little production issue, and in the interests of fairness, we brought Tony back.”
Representatives for "Wheel of Fortune" did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
However, Yahoo Entertainment reported that the “production issue” may stem from Tony’s last appearance in 2017 in which he made it all the way to the bonus round. While there, he chose the category “Phrase.” Unfortunately, the game gave him the category “What are you doing.” It’s possible that the minor gaffe may have been smoothed over by allowing Harrison to return for another go.
The outlet reported that the second time was the charm, with the contestant finishing the game with a massive $93,831 in prizes, including a trip to Barbados.
Harrison himself took to Twitter prior to the broadcast to briefly reflect on the journey he’s been on with “Wheel of Fortune” so far.
“From a #Wheelmobile contestant search in 2017 to an encore taping at Sony Studios in 2020, it's been quite a ride. Watch me on Wheel of Fortune, Monday, April 6th!” he told his followers.
Although new episodes continue to roll out, “Wheel Of Fortune” has actually suspended production amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“With the increasing concern surrounding COVID-19, we have decided to temporarily suspend production on Wheel of Fortune and @Jeopardy! The health and well-being of our contestants, staff, and crew are our top priority, and we will continue to monitor the situation as it develops,” a tweet announcing the suspension of production read.
The show even followed up with a note to fans explaining why new episodes are premiering with a studio audience despite guidelines on social distancing.
“A friendly reminder that the current episodes were taped months in advance, so any interactions between the contestants, Pat and Vanna, staff and crew, or the studio audience were considered safe at that time. We hope you and your loved ones are well, and thank you for watching!”