Wheel of Fortune contestant breaks silence after viewers claim she was robbed of $40,000 prize

Wheel of Fortune contestant Megan Carvale has revealed once and for all whether she said “pink orchid” on the popular US game show.

Carvale divided the internet after failing to answer a question worth $40,000 in the final round of Tuesday’s (30 January) episode.

Presented with a phrase that had several letters omitted, Carvale had just 10 seconds to get the correct answer. As the clock counted down, she could be heard making several guesses, all of which were incorrect. Host Vanna White, who replaced long-time presenter Pat Sajak in 2023, then revealed the answer to be “pink orchid”.

However, many people on social media were incensed as they were convinced that the contestant had said “pink orchid” during the round.

Appearing on Good Morning America on Thursday, Carvale laid the matter to rest. “You know, I wish I said ‘pink’ because I would have been $40,000 richer,” she said. “But I said ‘something.’”

She added: “My son, the entire way home, because my 8-year-old son was in the audience with me and the whole way home – we live in Orange County – the whole way home from LA, [he said], ‘Mom, I can’t believe you didn’t get pink. I can’t believe you didn’t get pink.’

“That word has already been haunting me and now all of America believes that I said it but I didn’t.”

Megan Carvale on ‘Good Morning America’ (ABC)
Megan Carvale on ‘Good Morning America’ (ABC)

Carvale still took home $14,007 from the show, alongside a holiday to Aruba.

Wheel of Fortune has aired in the US since 1975. In the UK, the series – created by Merv Griffin – originally aired from 1988 to 2001, and was hosted over the years by Nicky Campbell, Bradley Walsh, John Leslie and Paul Hendy.

Graham Norton will host a revival for ITV later this year.

The format sees contestants spin a large carnival-style wheel to win cash prizes after solving puzzles.

Speaking ahead of the new revival, Norton said: “I’m beyond excited to be bringing such an iconic American show to a new British audience.

“My first ever TV job was a game show on ITV so this feels like coming full circle. You might even call it a wheel!”