This Week's Contestant
The night before my taping, I don't think I fell asleep. I was excited to tape my show the next day and couldn't calm down! I set three alarms just to make sure I didn't sleep through the most exciting day of my life!
That morning I was so anxious, nervous, happy, every emotion I could possibly be feeling, I felt! I knew I was a good player from years of playing on the couch at home but didn't want to get ahead of myself, as all of us taping that day came to find out; playing for real is completely different than the comfort of playing in your own home! I arrived at Sony Studios early Thursday morning with the other contestants that were to be taping that same day. We were all in the same boat: talking about people making mistakes on the show, what we were going to win, how nervous we all were, and anything and everything else. The first couple hours of the day we went over paperwork, rules, etc., and then the real part of the day began.
We practiced spinning the wheel (and dang, that is one heavy wheel!), calling letters, and playing fake rounds. It all went so fast! Then, it was time for my turn to play Wheel of Fortune. My hands were cold. My heart was racing. We had to pick up our devices for the first toss up round. The toss-up puzzles were never my strong point. Vanna touched that board and it all began! I buzzed in, guessed and solved it right! It was so exciting! I solved the first puzzle. That's all I needed. Now I could go home and not be a total loser because at least I solved something! I got bankrupt twice throughout the show and always knew for years and years that if I were to ever be on the show, that would be what would happen to me. I wouldn't even get the chance to play! But then my big puzzle came. I landed on $3500 and guessed the "N" I knew was there. Three of them! I solved it, and right then and there my new favorite Beatles song would forever be "I Want to Hold Your Hand." Everything I did during the show, I did for a reason.
It was the final round, and I was ahead. But so nervous, that one of the other players would still pull in front of me. I believe it was the third time through, and I thought I should just guess a vowel for no money but maybe the win. When Vanna moved out of the way, I just stared and racked my brain. I thought it was the longest three seconds ever! I said my guess so fast because I thought I was going to lose my turn! That was it! I won the game. I was going to the bonus round!!!! It all happened so quickly! It was literally the fastest 25 minutes of my life! If I could go back, I would tell myself to just soak in what was happening. Just relish in the most amazing moment of my life.
The bonus round! As the producers and I were going through the technical stuff of the final puzzle and the spinning of the baby wheel, one said to me: "Watch out for these wires. No one has ever tripped over them." So what happens, I trip on Pat's foot. Classic, Sara. Just classic! I was so nervous. It was time. One word. I always hated one word puzzles. The N came up and then the T and immediately I thought "night". Then the rest came up, and I knew it. That was it. I had just gone all the way on Wheel of Fortune! My dream was to just be on the show. Playing was amazing, and I wish I could do it every day! Now, I'm just waiting for them to have a Champions Champion segment and invite me back!!!
So now here I am. My dreams have come true. I won over $17,000 and a new car. Sadly, the money will mostly go to student loans. But I'll be rocking a new car! The single BEST experience of my life.