“Wheel of Fortune” can’t stump New Yorker Robert Santoli.
The 23-year-old correctly solved a 14-letter puzzle with only the letter “D” revealed on the board on Friday’s episode. In an almost clean sweep of the game, Santoli went home with $76,000 and two free cruise vacations.
It was the Yorktown resident’s first shot on the show after trying out when he was only 19 years old. Being a “Wheel of Fortune” fanatic came in handy for his impressive win, but that’s not the only thing that helped him nab the money.
He tells Tap Into that he was able to guess the puzzle with just one letter showing simply by tapping into the episode’s nautical theme. The term “port and starboard,” meaning left and right of a vessel, tie in with the Carnival cruise line sponsor.
“I spent the days before our trip compiling a list of possible puzzles and keywords themed toward sailing, cruising, water and even fishing,” he told Tap Into. Plus, “port and starboard” had actually been used “at least twice before” on previous shows, he says.
In the video, shared to YouTube by “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak sounds impressed by his ability to continuously solve the puzzles, and his fellow contestants seemed to throw in the towel.
Watch the video, which has just under 1 million views, for yourself at Youtube.com/wheeloffortune.