This Week's Contestant
Walking out of the waiting room and getting ready to play was the first time I really felt weird. I wouldn't say that I was nervous rather I was really anxious. I looked up in the crowd to find my mom and my friend Joe who came to see me (he lives in California). The crew put a microphone on me, I took my place, Pat and Vanna walked out and the show began.
I solved the first Toss-Up puzzle, but wasn't able to get the second one. I was second in line to play the next puzzle. The contestant in front of me spun and landed on bankrupt, then I landed on bankrupt, and then the next contestant landed on bankrupt! Not a very good start. Luckily, I got my chance again and solved the puzzle, winning about $5,000. Since I was the second player, I got to start the next puzzle. I solved the puzzle and won an Italy & Greece tour along the way! I've always wanted to go to Italy and my Girlfriend Tammy has always wanted to go to Greece, so it almost seemed meant to be. So, after a couple of puzzles, I was dominating! I had over $15,000 and a commanding lead. But oh how the tables can turn. After a few puzzles and a Toss-Up, I suddenly found myself trailing by nearly $3,000. This is when I started to get nervous. The next puzzle came up and it was my turn to make something happen.
Every spin, I kept my eye on the other contestant's amount, trying to figure out how many more spins I needed to surpass her. I knew what the puzzle was early, but if I solved it, I would not have enough money to make it to the bonus round. So, I kept spinning and spinning. Every time the wheel stopped it was a low dollar amount and I would only get single letters. I was running out of options when I heard the most beautiful sound the weird little noise that they play when it's time for Pat to give the final spin. I knew that I had a greater chance to make it to the bonus round with the added $1,000 to his spin. Well, Pat spun. I guessed a letter and solved the puzzle "Geneva, Switzerland," but I still wasn't sure if I won or not. When I looked at the scores, I saw that I had won by only $245. That is the closest game that I have ever seen! And then I realized Holy Cow! I'm going to the bonus round and I already won over $18,000.
Being on Wheel of Fortune and playing against two other contestants is stressful enough. Standing in the middle of the studio next to Pat, in front of the puzzle board is pretty intimidating. So I spun the Bonus round wheel and picked my card. My category was "What Are You Doing?" so right away I had a strategy. I knew that the first word ended in I-N-G so I started to try and figure out what letters to pick. The letters N, T, E, & L all came up and I thought I knew what the puzzle might be so I guessed a few letters, but they all didn't come up. So I stared at the board and the words just popped into my head. Before the countdown began, I knew the puzzle. When Pat gave me the go ahead, I said the words "OPENING THE VAULT!" I can't believe I just won the bonus round on Wheel of Fortune. Pat opened the card and I won $35,000! My mom and Joe came running out and my mom actually jumped on me. I'm still not sure if it has really sunk in yet.
I walked away with over $53,000 in cash and prizes! Being on Wheel of Fortune was an amazing experience and will always be a fond memory. My next goal is to get to Host Wheel of Fortune. So, Pat, if you are reading this, keep me in mind! Thanks Wheel of Fortune! You've helped change my life.