College student loses 'Wheel of Fortune' puzzle with all letters revealed

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TODAY – “Wheel of Fortune” can offer up some mind-boggling puzzles. But when an entire phrase is spelled out, contestants generally have no trouble solving — but that wasn’t true for player Julian Batts, who some viewers are now calling the “worst” player in the history of the show.

After a series of fortunate spins — high dollar amounts, the $1 million wedge and a trip to London — the Indiana University student had every letter on the board revealed. And he still lost the round.

The solution was “mythological hero Achilles.” Seems pretty straightforward, but the pronunciation of “Achilles” stumped the young player, who said “A-chill-us” and got the Buzzer of Denial instead of rousing applause. The round then went to a young woman named Shelby from Texas A&M, who correctly pronounced “Achilles.”

“When it comes to names … even though the letters are up there, because you have to solve it, which is what you did. You have to say it, and (Shelby) said it,” host Pat Sajak explained.

“One of the rules of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ is when a contestant tries to solve a puzzle, they must pronounce it using the generally accepted pronunciation,” a spokesperson for the game show told TODAY.

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