Veteran Tanks On 'Wheel Of Fortune' To Let Other Vets Win More Money

D
Still from 'Wheel of Fortune'
youtube | Krista Lili Knaus

Game shows could be considered the original form of reality TV, with regular people getting selected to complete challenges for a chance at a big payday.

The unscripted, spontaneous nature of these shows can lead to unpredictable results — and one such show saw a veteran exploiting the rules of Wheel of Fortune to ensure a bigger payday for their fellow veterans.

It started with Veterans Week.

Still from 'Wheel of Fortune'
youtube | Krista Lili Knaus

Wheel of Fortune hosts "Veterans Week" from time to time — a cause near and dear to the heart of host Pat Sajak, as he is a veteran himself. The show in question took place during 2015's Veterans Week on the Wheel.

Three veterans were picked as contestants.

Still from 'Wheel of Fortune'
youtube | Krista Lili Knaus

Steve Jostes, Troy Smith, and Nura Fountano were the three contestants. Troy had been a member of an armored division in the Gulf War, Steve had a long career in the Air Force, and Nura had served for six years.

Nura Fountano jumped out to an early lead.

Still from 'Wheel of Fortune'
youtube | Krista Lili Knaus

For the first Toss-Up challenge, she correctly guessed that __UR-_T_R ___E_A_ was "four-star general." Nura was able to add another $2,000 to her tally when she guessed the next Toss-Up challenge, and she quickly had a big lead.

Nura kept winning.

Still from 'Wheel of Fortune'
youtube | Krista Lili Knaus

After winning a few more games, she'd already won a vacation in Belize and built a commanding lead. It was at this point that things took an unusual turn, and it took the audience a minute to catch on.

The final round began.

Still from 'Wheel of Fortune'
youtube | Krista Lili Knaus

At this point, Steve hadn't won anything. Troy had $4,300 and Nura had — wait for it — $13,970. She was clearly going to win. Nura started guessing completely improbable letters, giving the other contestants a chance to catch up.

Everyone knew something was odd.

Still from 'Wheel of Fortune'
youtube | Krista Lili Knaus

The contestants and Sajak himself were visibly puzzled when Nura picked the letter Z, which clearly didn't fit into the word. When asked to confirm, she replied, "As in Zulu: Z." She wasn't going to win this round, but she did know her military alphabet.

Troy and Steve started to catch up.

Still from 'Wheel of Fortune'
youtube | Krista Lili Knaus

They were able to solve the puzzle without Nura's involvement, and when Nura's turn next came up, she didn't pick an unusual letter. In fact, she didn't pick a letter at all. In the next round, she did pick a letter, but it was another improbable one: Q.

She was basically allowing the other contestants to play catch-up.

Still from 'Wheel of Fortune'
youtube | Krista Lili Knaus

If you haven't caught on to what's happening here, there was no way Nura was going to lose the game. Rather than going for a clean sweep and leaving the other contestants with low winnings, Nura essentially sat out these rounds so her fellow veterans would be able to add to their pot.

Sajak knew what was going on.

'Wheel of Fortune' host Pat Sajak
youtube | Krista Lili Knaus

He jokingly poked fun at Nura, asking, "I wonder what letter Nura will call?" Nura didn't disappoint, calling out the letter X. It was the third weird letter she'd picked, along with Z and Q.

She won nothing in the final round.

Still from 'Wheel of Fortune'
youtube | Krista Lili Knaus

Steve won the last round, adding up to a pot of $6,400. After the show's conclusion, Sajak asked Nura what her deal was. She played coy, and Sajak concluded, "That was an unsatisfactory answer, but she's not under oath."

Nura still won the overall game.

Still from 'Wheel of Fortune'
youtube | Krista Lili Knaus

She knew she'd win, of course, which allowed her the freedom to essentially throw the final round and share the wealth with her fellow veterans. Her appearance on the show quickly went viral, with commenters correctly guessing what she'd done and why she'd done it.

Have you seen this episode?

'Wheel of Fortune' contestant Nura Fountano
youtube | Krista Lili Knaus

It must be one of the most bizarre episodes of a game show ever seen, and once you realize what's going on, it's also one of the most heartwarming.

Let us know what you think of Nura's strategy in the comments.