March 20, 2014 at 10:20 AM ET
H_ _y _ _ _ke_! "Wheel of Fortune" contestant Emil de Leon from Daly City, Calif., stunned host Pat Sajak and viewers Wednesday night in one of the game show's most amazing puzzle solves.
During the bonus round, Emil was given two letters of a three word, 12-letter puzzle. Even Sajak was doubtful that the contestant could figure out the "Thing."
"Uhh ... this looks tough to me!" the host laughed. "You're a very good puzzle solver, but I don't know ..."
Oh, but Emil did know! He immediately blurted out "new baby buggy" but kept guessing since the board did not reveal the answer after his guess. After four seconds, the answer appeared, and Emil let out a scream and collapsed. The solution was indeed his first guess. (Sony Pictures Television didn't have a comment about the delay between his answer and the reveal.)
Sajak merely stood stunned and shook his head for a bit, before turning to Emil and patting him down. (Perhaps checking to see if he had any devices on him that helped him solve the puzzle?)
"Call it the luckiest guess of a lifetime!" TODAY's Al Roker said of the solve on Thursday.
But though Sajak had frisked the player, TODAY's Natalie Morales joked that maybe there were some hijinks going on. "I'm just saying, it's great publicity for the show, isn't it? We're all talking about it!"
Roker and Matt Lauer poked fun at her conspiracy theory.
"Are you saying Vanna White did something?!?" Roker questioned.
"... Could be involved in something like this, a nefarious act like that?!" Lauer continued.
"Shocked and outraged!" Roker added.
Emil won $45,000 for solving the final puzzle, and took home a grand total of $63,099.
Sajak was highly impressed, and shared his thoughts with fans.
Emil may have taped the episode in January, but when the episode aired Wednesday, he was still as excited about the win.
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