The popular game show has continued to air its catalog of previously filmed episodes as people settle in to watch while quarantining themselves amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. During a recent episode, one contestant surprised both his opponents and viewers at home with one of the fastest solves in the game’s history.
According to Yahoo Entertainment, contestant Mark Franco from Brentwood, Calif. competed on a Triple Toss Up puzzle where he absolutely dominated the competition. The first letter had barely been revealed when Franco hit his buzzer with the exact right answer.
The puzzle at the time read: “_’_ – _ _ _ _ _ G – _ – _ _ _ _”
Franco buzzed in with the solve: “I’M HAVING A BALL” which instantly earned him points and the win.
The outlet notes that he found himself apologizing for winning a puzzle earlier in the game after his opponent missed it on a technicality. However, host Pat Sajak insisted that he should “never apologize for winning.”
That’s when the contestant came back with a vengeance and shocked the audience. Despite the impressive puzzle solve, Franco wasn’t able to secure himself a spot to advance in the bonus round. However, he’s not walking away empty-handed. He left his time on “Wheel of Fortune” with a $7,000 trip to London and $2,000 in spending money.
Franco is not the first person to shock viewers by solving a puzzle with little-to-no clues in recent memory. In February, contestant Taya Somes was apparently in the zone during regulation play. About halfway through the game, she was given a 17-letter puzzle to solve, which she correctly did after finding zero vowels and just two consonants.
Before she agreed to venture a high-risk guess, the business owner and mother of five could only see: “_ – _ _ _ _ _ – _ _ _ _ – N _ – _ T_ _ _ .”
Undeterred, she surprised even her fellow contestants when she asked to solve the puzzle, correctly guessing: “A PLACE LIKE NO OTHER.”