North Carolina man on Wheel of Fortune gaffe: 'I just screwed up'

EMBED </>More Videos

Jonny Knowles spoke exclusively to ABC11's Josh Chapin about his now infamous flamingo answer on Wheel of Fortune. (WTVD)

A North Carolina man made famous for a flub on Monday's episode of Wheel of Fortune spoke to sister station ABC11 in Raleigh Tuesday evening, admitting he just messed up.

While trying to solve the puzzle "Flamenco Dance Lessons," Jonny Knowles mispronounced the word "flamenco" and read it as "flamingo" instead.

"I just screwed up, that's all there is," said Knowles, a married father of one. "I feel like it was very subtle and I'm kind of surprised I didn't get it, but I didn't get it. I screwed up. That's all there is to it."

RELATED: Wheel of Misfortune: Man loses $7k after mispronouncing 'flamenco'

Knowles has always loved the show, and he even has "Wheel of Fortune" blocks in his living room.

"I've been watching the show with my mom for a long time," he said. "We always watch it, we always talked about being on the show and what we'd do if were on the show but never ever applied."

Finally, he made an audition tape and in August tried his hand at an audition in Raleigh. Two months later, he was invited to Hollywood.

"I'm originally from Sacramento, so my family came to Los Angeles for the taping and got to be there with us too, which is really cool," he said. "When you're out in LA, everything seems so fake - like everything. Everybody is just glammed up. I had never experienced that. It was so weird. If there were ever a mistake, you could stop and they would run it again and Pat would say the right words like everything was just fabricated."

It's clear his now-viral mistake was not fabricated. The moment came as he was in the lead - the moment also cost him $7,000 and a trip to Spain.

"It's a slip of the tongue, literally," Knowles said.

He only lost the trip for a little bit, it turns out, because Airbnb stepped in and gave him $7,100 to use on his trip and travel costs, in addition to flamenco lessons.

"After filming, it took some time to process what just happened," he said. "One month later, after an incredibly crazy day, I found out I'm getting a chance to go on the trip thanks to Airbnb, and I couldn't be any more excited to flamenco dance the night away in Spain."

Knowles still made off with $19,000 in cash and prizes.

"I don't know what to say about this," he said. "It's cool. It's not what I was expecting. The one thing I will explain is that I was not mad. I know that sounds crazy when you're watching it and when I watched it, I did look like I was really angry."

Knowles said he plans to use the more than $19,000 he won to pay off his student loans.

----------
* More local news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Related Topics:
entertainmentwheel of fortuneentertainmentNorth Carolina
(Copyright ©2018 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.)