Wheel of Fortune contestant, Matt DeSanto, from Pennsylvania, solved a toss-up puzzle with only one letter to help him last Friday. By accomplishing this, he set a record. DeSanto solved every single puzzle and had amassed over $90,000, not even including the bonus round.
How did Matt DeSanto do the virtually impossible, by solving a puzzle with only one letter guessed and three showing on the board? Somehow, he managed to do it, coming up with the correct answer, “The Lone Ranger,” with only three “E”s showing to help guide him. Solving this particular 13-letter puzzle netted DeSanto $2,000. Impressive, yes; but, chickenfeed compared to the $91,892 he eventually managed to win, before heading into the bonus round.
The quick-thinking Desanto explained that the wheel was just in his favor, and he humbly said that he was “extremely fortunate.” He added that he “tried not to over-think it too much.” He said that by choosing an “E,” and having three of them revealed, he deduced that the first word must be either “The,” or a proper noun. He decided it must be “The,” and went from there to guess the entire puzzle correctly.
Matt DeSanto, the father of two, did not do as well in the bonus round, but he still left the game as a Wheel of Fortune record-breaker, and with a lot of cash. He is the only contestant since 2011 to win over $70,000 in the main Wheel of Fortune game and DeSanto amassed the most money ever, in the history of Wheel of Fortune, in the main game.
When DeSanto solved the “Lone Ranger” puzzle, Pat Sajak and the audience seemed shocked by how rapidly the puzzle was guessed correctly. Sajak joked with DeSanto, saying that he thought there must be “a connection between you and Vanna.”
Time ran out before Matt DeSanto could figure out the solution to the Wheel of Fortune bonus round puzzle. He said he might have had a better chance of solving it if he had “picked better letters.” The actual taping of the episode was on October 30, 2014, though it was aired just this last Friday.
Even though he did not solve the bonus round puzzle, Matt DeSanto might go down as the greatest contestant ever in the history of Wheel of Fortune. On the way to a sweep of all of the puzzles in the main game, DeSanto won two paid vacations as a part of his tidy sum of $91,892 in total winnings.
According to DeSanto, he has been a fan of Wheel of Fortune almost all of his life, since he was five years old. He said he liked that the puzzles are like the game of “hangman,” and the deceptively simple nature of the game makes viewers “feel like anybody can play.”
During the final round, Matt DeSanto came close to solving the puzzle. He answered “gavel,” but the correct answer of the entire puzzle was “wooden gavel.”
Matt DeSanto’s record might eventually get beaten, but he will go down in the history of Wheel of Fortune in the memories of viewers as the man who solved a 13-letter puzzle by guessing only the letter “E” letter correctly first. According to DeSanto, the experience was also one that he “will remember forever.” The $91,892 in total winnings that DeSanto won was the proverbial “icing on the cake.”
Written By Douglas Cobb