Paul Atkinson mispronounces Wheel of Fortune puzzle, loses $1 million

Atkinson mispronounced 'Corner Curio Cabinet,' costing him $1 million. Photo: ABC

A windfall prize was on the tip of Paul Atkinson's tongue on an episode of Wheel of Fortune that aired earlier this week.

Unfortunately, he just couldn't spit the correct word out, and it cost him $1 million.

Atkinson was appearing on an episode of the long-running game show in Las Vegas and landed on the rare $1 million wedge, earning it by correctly guessing a letter on the board.

Finally, when it came time to solve, taking home the massive prize seemed like a shoe-in. He was presented with a puzzle that read "CORNER CURIO CA_INET," clearly spelling out "corner curio cabinet.

There was one problem, though, according to ABC News. Atkinson had never seen the word curio, and when he shouted his answer, it came out more like "corno curro cabinet."

The buzzer went off. Atkinson lost his turn. His competitor quickly swooped in and answered the puzzle correctly, leaving Atkinson with a stunned look on his face and all of a sudden out $1 million.

"I was so upset with myself that we took off from the venue; when we first got to the bar ,he said, 'We need some tequila over here,'" Atkinson told CNN.

To his credit, he still walked away with $2,000.

"I've got Pat freaking Sajak to my immediate right (and) I've got lights and cameras in my face," he told Good Morning America. "I totally goofed it."