De Leon explained his precise method in a recent interview.
Wheel of Fortune has featured many impressive contestants over the year and plenty of amazingly lucky guesses, but last night’s winner – Emil de Leon – made even host Pat Sajak refer to his answer as “the most amazing solve in my 30+ years on the show.” With just two letters originally on the board, de Leon managed to work out the phrase “new baby buggy”.
Pat Sajak has never seen guesswork this precise in his 3 decades on the show.
It was a combination of luck, logic and loads of Wheel of Fortune experience. "The first word was easy as there is pretty much nothing that can go there except 'new'. Then I just kept on working with the second word - I used a used letter board, the first letter there was B, so I worked off that. New Baby just sounds right - it flows," he explained for The Hollywood Reporter.
Having just studied pediatrics for his nursing exams, De Leon had "babies on my mind" and "I just thought, 'what do you find with a new baby?' and came up with buggy.”
So if you were looking for a how-to guide to Wheel of Fortune, that would be it. Unfortunately, Leon’s amazing guess didn’t get as big of a prize as other contestants – he only walked away with $63,099 in cash and prizes because he didn’t make it to the bonus round. De Leon, however, hasn’t let that get to him in the slightest. “I am living the dream right now and have no regrets.”
Tonight's "Wheel of Fortune" features most amazing solve in my 30+ years on the show. No kidding.— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) March 19, 2014
Although it only aired on Wednesday, De Leon filmed his game-winning episode on Jan. 17 and said for THR, "That was a very long two months that I had to keep quiet. My parents are very talkative so I was worried!"
And of course, he has all that prize money to spend. The lucky winner plans to do the reasonable thing and pay off some school fees, then try and fit in the trip to Cabo, Mexico, that he won before heading back for a registered nursing course.