Longtime "Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak inadvertently let slip the answer to a puzzle on Thursday's edition of the syndicated game show.
"Did anyone catch this?" the show's social-media accounts asked, posting a video that combined the on-air flub and a postgame segment with host Sajak and game-board host Vanna White discussing it.
During the game, in which contestants must deduce the missing letters in a common phrase, the board contained the two words "_ _ _ T E" and "_ R _ N _ L _." Sajak, 74, commented to the stumped contestant, "Yikes. Well, I'd rather be standing here than there, quite frankly" — those last two words being the answer. The contestant, regardless, did not guess the phrase.
Afterward, standing onstage before the board, White, 64, asks Sajak, "Did you hear what you said?"
Sajak, chuckling replies, "I did, right after I said it! I wonder how many people at home caught it."
He explained for those who might have missed it that, "In setting up the thing, there weren't many letters up there and I said, 'I'd rather be here than there, quite frankly' — which was the puzzle. But it goes to show you that people are concentrating and that they're not paying any attention to me. And he didn't get it … no reason he should, just based on that."
He added, stammering a bit, "It's funny what your mind will — what your brain — what your mouth will say that your brain says, 'You shouldn't do that.' Anyway," he then joked, "we'll, quite frankly, see you next time."
Neither Sajak nor White have otherwise commented publicly. The two have hosted this version of "Wheel of Fortune" since 1983, when it succeeded the 1975 original, doing nearly 7,200 episodes so far.