Apparently, phonetic pronunciations get you squat on Wheel of Fortune. That lesson cost Indiana University freshman Julian Batts a chance to win $1 million on a College Week episode that aired on Friday.
He had all the letters. All he had to do was say the answer: Mythological Hero Achilles.
But the honors student stumbled on the name and said: A-chill-ess.
It just kind of hit me like a train and I really didnt know how to react to it, he told
Wheel of Fortune rules state that when contestants try to solve a puzzle they must use generally accepted pronunciations. So Batts was out of luck.
He said when another contestant from Texas A solved it correctly it hit me right then and there that it was Achilles.
"I didn't feel like I made a mistake but I feel like I solved the puzzle entirely and all I had to do was read it and I just went for it and I did my best."
As if that wasnt bad enough, he tried to solve another puzzle by guessing On the spot dice spin instead of On the spot decision.
And The Worlds Fastest Man eluded him in the Person category, too, with only two letters missing.
"I don't think anyone has ever taken a more circuitous route to victory, but the important thing is you're here and you've got $11,700 dollars and we're pleased about that," host Pat Sajak said during the episode.
The Internet has dubbed Batts the worst Wheel of Fortune contestant ever, but we will not go that far.
If nothing else he is a gracious loser who told ABC that being on the show was a dream and it was one of the greatest experiences I've accomplished so far.