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'Wheel of Fortune' contestant who was denied an Audi will receive new car, anyway

Dec. 23 (UPI) -- A Wheel of Fortune contestant who was denied a new Audi by a controversial technicality will be presented with the same model car by Audi, the company said.

Charlene Rubush, who made it to the bonus round on Tuesday night's episode of the game show, correctly answered the puzzle, "Choosing the right word," but a pause of a few seconds in between "right" and "word" caused her to miss out on winning an Audi Q3, a luxury SUV that starts at $35,900.

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"You know, this one's tough because you said all the right words, including the word 'word,' but as you know, it's gotta be more or less continuous," host Pat Sajak said in the episode. "We'll allow for a little pause, but not four or five seconds."

Rubush still went home with $16,500 in winnings, but the rule used to deny her the Audi proved controversial online.

"Come on @WheelofFortune, the woman literally chose the right word," former Jeopardy! winner Alex Jacob tweeted. "Give her the car."

Jacob's sentiments were echoed across social media, and soon the official Audi account tweeted that Rubush was "a winner in our eyes" and would receive a Q3.

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Tara Rush, Audi of America's chief marketing officer, told CNN the company was "thrilled to gift Charlene" a new vehicle.

"It is the season of giving after all and, technicality or not, we are always eager to share a bit of Audi magic and cheer," Rush said.

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