Pat Sajak Apologizes For Teasing A Contestant About Their Unusual Phobia on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak just couldn’t help himself when he learned one of the show contestants had a rather unique phobia.

Sajak seemed to have many questions after contestant Ashley Laumb revealed she had ichtyophobia, or a phobia of fish. “You don’t like fish. You don’t like to eat them, you don’t like to swim with them?” Sajak asked. 

“Nothing, nothing to do with them at all,” Ashley confirmed. “If they’re on a plate or in the water, I am not going to be anywhere near it.” 

When he asked if the phobias stemmed from her childhood, Ashley said with a laugh, “It’s a long story, Pat. We don’t have time.” It seemed pretty clear that she didn’t want to talk about her phobia anymore. But Sajak couldn’t let it go.  

Ashley later earned the chance to move onto the bonus round. Before congratulating her, he turned to another contestant and asked, “Can you do me a favor? I don’t want her to see this, just hold onto this,” before handing him a fake fish he pulled from his pocket. 

Ashley immediately groaned and turned away to cover her face, though she was laughing. “Ashley, you all right?” Sajak asked. “You’ll forgive me for that, won’t you?”

He went on to announce she was the “big winner” with $24,250. Ashley, though horrified, seemed in good spirits as she clapped along with the audience. 

Though some found this to be a funny moment, others noted how out of character this seemed for Sajak. “Does he know he’s retiring soon so he just doesn’t care anymore?” someone commented on Instagram.

“Hats off to the producers who research the contestant stories for the hosts on Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune. I mean, what can you do with “So Contestant A, I hear you don’t like fish?’” one viewer tweeted

Ashley went on to solve the bonus round clue and win the whole show. 

With just a few letters up on the board and ten seconds to solve it, she correctly guessed “A Heavy Overcoat,” winning a total of $63,250.

Wheel of Fortune airs on weeknights at 7/6c. Find local listings on the Wheel of Fortune website.