‘Wheel Of Fortune’ Audience Is Confused By Woman’s Bad Picks Until They Realize Her End Game

When people are lucky enough to be chosen as a contestant on a television game show, they’re usually there to win a great deal of money. Their competitive spirit is part of what makes these programs so fun to watch… and what made one contestant’s behavior so unusual on this popular game show.

For many people, part of the appeal of TV game shows is their formulaic nature. There’s a certain comfort in the familiarity that comes with watching a game that has the same rules, flow, and outcome. That was not the case, however, during one 2015 episode of Wheel of Fortune. Everybody thought that they knew how the game would go—until the leading contestant did something no one’s ever seen before…

During Veterans Week in 2015, the producers of Wheel of Fortune honored the armed forces with a special military-themed episode. Every episode that week featured veterans or current servicemen and women.

On Tuesday, November 10, 2015, after a relatively unremarkable Monday episode, host Pat Sajak welcomed three veterans to the stage: Steve, Troy, and Nura. Nobody could have expected what would soon happen!

After just a handful of rounds, it was painfully obvious that Nura would almost certainly win the game. By the second-to-last round, Nura had earned $13,970, while Troy had $4,300 and Steve had nothing.

During the final speed round, everyone assumed they could predict the outcome. Troy guessed a popular consonant—”T”—which resulted in two of that letter being placed on the board. The expectation was for Nura to be similarly successful… until she did something extremely surprising.

Nura confidently asked to put “Z” on the board, which was, of course, an extremely rare letter. The audience was stunned. Even Pat Sajak and the other contestants on stage were baffled by Nura’s odd choice!

“Say that again for me,” Pat asked, to which Nura confidently repeated herself. “Did you say ‘Z?'” he asked again. Yet, Nura seemed to know exactly what she was doing. “As in Zulu,” she confirmed. “Z.”

“You did say ‘Z,'” said the stunned host. “Okay.” Nobody could have been surprised when the board didn’t light up. Pat then turned to Steve, who correctly guessed “R,” before Troy rightly guessed “S.”

When it was Nura’s turn again, instead of guessing another strange letter, this time she remained silent. During her next turn, though, she made another unusual choice: “Q,” she said.

Of course, viewers watching it all unfold at home were in disbelief, expressing their surprise and confusion on Twitter. Wheel of Fortune is an iconic show that has been around for decades, so they knew how unusual it was to witness the game being played in this way. Didn’t Nura want to win?

Mike H. / Twitter

For a show that’s been on the air for so long, even the most casual viewers—not to mention contestants—were familiar with the game’s usual formula. So they knew that Nura wasn’t playing it how she was supposed to.

Smata2 / Wikimedia Commons

Meanwhile, Pat could barely hide how puzzled and frustrated he was. “I wonder what letter Nura will call?” he joked out loud. After Nura said “X” on her next turn, just about everyone was ready to scream at her.

Breanna Sooter / Twitter

Unsurprisingly, this answer yielded no results, nor did her silence during her next and final turn. This was all made even stranger by the fact that earlier, Nura was the game’s undisputed leader.

Finally, Steve won the round with the answer “following footprints,” and he earned $6,400. Despite the fact that he won that particular round, though, Nura wasn’t done surprising the audience…

Pat couldn’t help but ask what was going through Nura’s head, but all she provided was a cryptic “that’s what I saw.” Pat replied with exactly what was on his mind: “That was an unsatisfactory answer, but she’s not under oath.”

Amazingly, despite her strange performance during that round, Nura had still been successful enough throughout the rest of the game to proceed to the next round. Still, the fact that her actions allowed Steve to go home with at least some winnings wasn’t lost on the audience, and soon it became clear what her strategy was all along.

It started to become clear that Nura knew exactly what she was doing when she made those guesses. In an act of solidarity with her fellow veterans, she appeared to be making an attempt to share the wealth.

Throughout social media, viewers expressed their respect for Nura’s selfless actions. Considering how fiercely competitive Wheel of Fortune usually is, nobody had ever seen anything like this before.

This wasn’t just a landmark moment for Wheel of Fortune, but for game shows in general. Usually, the only people acting charitably on these programs are rich and famous celebrities…

Retro Rager / Twitter

Plus, Nura still got another chance to show off her skills in the final round. Unfortunately, however, she missed out on a $33,000 grand prize when she failed to guess the final answer: “by appointment.”

Nonetheless, Nura was thrilled to be going home with a $14,000 prize. “I’m going to Belize!” she exclaimed as she smiled and clapped. “You made us all happy,” Pat told her as the show came to a close.

Pat spoke for just about every viewer and audience member in his sincere show of congratulations. Nura’s sense of duty to honor her fellow veterans was not in the least lost on others, either. That respect paid itself forward right to Army medic, Luis Ocampo.

Ocampo lived in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his girlfriend Kailey Finch and their son Lucian. Luis served in the North Carolina National Guard, and in September 2018, duty called him into action.

Kailey Finch / Facebook

Hurricane Florence, a Category 1 storm, smacked the coast with heavy winds and torrential rain, flooding cities and destroying homes. The Guard deployed Luis to the riverfront city of New Bern, which the storm hit particularly hard.

Anella Jane / MNN

While Luis and his local soldiers navigated the storm’s aftermath, helping anyone who needed water, food, or what have you, 20-year-old Kailey and Lucian headed for a place they would feel safer without Luis around.

The National Guard

Specifically, she took her soon to Luis’s parents’ house so she wouldn’t be alone for days. She left the family dog at home, where she checked in on him periodically. For a few days, the family lived like this — away from home and apart.

Kailey Finch / Facebook

On September 21, Luis returned home from his brief stint in New Bern. After helping people piece their lives back together, he expected at least a few hours for himself. But once at home, he did not receive a hero’s welcome.

Luis Ocampo / Facebook

With Kailey still at his parents’ house, Luis arrived at home only to be greeted by a curious sight: the dog — who’d been home all by himself — was running around in the front yard.

Flickr

Even more curious was that the backdoor had been left wide open. Either the dog taught himself a new trick and opened the door himself, or some one who should not have opened that back door. Gulp.

Most telling of all, however, was that the window in his son’s bedroom was propped open: someone busted the lock with a nearby shovel and crawled into the home! They weren’t still inside were they?

Luis Ocampo / Facebook

Luis entered his house through the wide-open back door and looked around. There was, thankfully, no one still inside the home. But that was just about the only positive the soldier could take away from what he saw.

Luis Ocampo / Facebook

The intruder flung clothes everywhere. They stole a laptop Luis kept all of his school work on; they stole a video game system, a firearm, and even swiped food from the refrigerator! And they didn’t stop there.

Kailey Finch / Facebook

The thieves took a box of coins Luis’s grandmother collected from around the world — something immensely sentimental to the 24 year old. After surveying the damage, all he could do was stick his face in his hands.

Kailey Finch / Facebook

This was how Kailey found her soldier when she returned home. Wanting to do something to help, she turned to Facebook and wrote a status that she didn’t know would eventually change their lives.

Luis Ocampo / Facebook

“This soldier, my soldier,” Kailey wrote, “lost everything of importance…We are trying to get the word out and see if anyone has any information about who may have taken it. Please share and see what we can find out!”

Luis Ocampo / Facebook

A friend of Kailey’s, Mary Elise Capron, saw the post and felt an overwhelming sense of grief for the couple she loved dearly. She’d worked closely with Luis over the years and knew him as “an amazing soldier and person.”

Mary Elise Capron / Facebook

Mary wanted to help, so she set up a GoFundMe. “I am honored to know [Luis],” she wrote, “and cannot believe something so terrible could happen to someone so dedicated to the service, his family, and school.”

Luis Ocampo / Facebook

Mary set a fundraising goal of $5,000. That, she figured, would be plenty to replace the laptop and firearm, and to repair the broke bedroom window. Eventually, donations flooded in…and they wouldn’t stop!

In 11 days, the GoFundMe raised thousands for the couple, who eventually asked Mary to shut down the fundraiser! They were making too much money, they argued, and didn’t “want to abuse people’s generosity.”

But the public actually asked Mary to re-open the fundraiser after she shut it down at the couple’s behest: they wanted to help out this woebegone soldier! This made Luis uncomfortable, so he and Mary worked out another plan.

Mary Elise Capron; Kailey Finch

Delighted with the public’s enthusiasm to help a soldier in need, Luis, Kailey, and Mary redirected new donations to Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund, which helps local Guardsmen facing hardships.

North Carolina National Guard / Flickr

The couple even gave some of the donation money — which totaled nearly $15,000! — to a soldier who’d been living in a hotel after a Hurricane Florence brought a tree down on his home. Luis and Kailey turned a disaster into a positive moment.

“A big part of wanting to give the donations comes from seeing how generous people have been,” Luis said. “And I wanted to pay that back to someone else who needed help.”

Kailey Finch / Facebook

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