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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

It was hard enough for this grandfather when he realized he was only three letters short of solving the final puzzle on Wednesday night's episode of "Wheel of Fortune."

Then Pat Sajak flipped open the card to show that he would've won $1 million.

The grandpa, named Frank, nearly collapsed in his granddaughter Laurel's arms over what might have been. He took home $26,203 instead. Not a bad haul, but it isn't a two-comma check.

"Unbelievable," Frank muttered.

The two were appearing on a special episode from Disney World as part of "Grandparents Week" on the show. Frank and Laurel received a final puzzle in the category of "Food & Drink."

He had five letters on the board before the 10-second countdown to solve the puzzle began.

Frank had the last word easily, but went with "fried zucchini" instead of "baked zucchini."

His loss had the crowd in the studio and dedicated "Wheel" watchers agonizing over his oh-so-close jackpot.

He can take solace in the fact that at least he didn't lose a chance to play for $1 million for failing to pronounce the solution correctly, or failing to solve the puzzle despite all the letters being revealed.

However, it's a good bet that Frank won't be eating baked zucchini any time soon.

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.