LAS VEGAS, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- A "Wheel of Fortune" contestant who lost a chance at a million dollar prize due to a mispronunciation said he "goofed it" during the Las Vegas taping.
Paul Atkinson, whose episode aired earlier this week, said he had never encountered the word "Curio" before, and his nervousness led his pronunciation of "Corner Curio Cabinet" to sound more like "Corno Curro Cabinet," ABC News reported Thursday.
Atkinson had landed on the million dollar wedge before mispronouncing his answer. To win one million dollars a contestant has to first win the million dollar wedge, then win the game with the most money, land on an envelope with the million dollar prize by spinning the prize wheel and successfully solve the bonus round puzzle.
"It just didn't come out the way you intended," host Pat Sajak said after the answer was refused and another player correctly solved the puzzle.
"I was nervous! I've got Pat freaking Sajak to my immediate right ... I've got lights and cameras in my face," he said.
Atkinson said the situation was his "worst nightmare."
"I knew I messed up," he said. "I knew something awesome could've happened, but I totally goofed it."