Video: Pronunciation Is 'Achilles' Heel for IU's Wheel of Fortune Contestant

A College Week game-show flameout cost the student $1 million and created an overnight Internet sensation.

This past Friday, an Indiana University student named Julian Batts, competing on Wheel of Fortune as part of the game show’s College Week, had an easy shot at winning $1 million. Every letter in the puzzle was visible; all he had to do was read the words. Watch the video to find out why Batts—an honor student and a Carmel High alum, according to an IU press release issued prior to the episode—is being called The Worst Wheel of Fortune Contestant Ever:

Batts is now an Internet celebrity punching bag, with at least one YouTube clip of his performance (which included two more gaffes—more video below) quickly soaring past 1 million views. The story was picked up by the websites of USA Today, the UK Daily Mail, and other outlets, and Batts went on ABC News to talk about the blunders:


Batts’s complete WOF highlight reel:

On a positive note, Batts’s notoriety has a ways to go before catching up with Ball State’s “Boom Goes the Dynamite” guy, who is listed among’s Top 10 YouTube Train Wrecks—along with Tom Cruise, Christian Bale, and Bill O’Reilly—on the strength of 8.6 million views and counting.