This Week's Contestant
|Theme:||College Week New Orleans|
|Hometown:||New Orleans, LA|
The chance I had been waiting for was finally here and adrenaline was running through my veins. I had been practicing since the day that I got the call, playing simulated versions of the show on Facebook and Wii.
I pulled up to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center bright and early, said goodbye to my parents and started to mingle with some of the other contestants. Early on in the day we had what I refer to as "Contestant Boot Camp", where we went over the rules of the game, strategy, and got to practice spinning the Wheel with the contestant coordinators. When I saw the Wheel for the first time, I went up to it, opened up my empty wallet, held it out for it to see and said, "Give me money, Wheel!" My grandma always tells a story that when I was little I used to hold up my wallet to a full moon, and say "Give me money, Moon!" So I tried my luck with asking the infamous Wheel for the same request!
Before I knew it, it was time for me to tape my show! The first moment I stepped up to my place at the wheel was surreal! I was the player in the red position which was really ironic since my dad played in the yellow position, and my mom was in the blue. Between all of us, my family had covered all of the colors! Nerves are never really a big thing for me, since I am a Musical Theatre major, but they hit me like a ton of bricks as soon as Pat and Vanna came out for our show! I didn't get either of the first two Toss-Up puzzles and was in line to be the third person to spin the Wheel. I started to calm down when I heard the cheers from my friends, family, and classmates that were all in the audience, and once Pat said that it was my turn to spin. Things calmed down considerably when I solved the Jackpot Puzzle! I took a deep breath and tried to focus on the rest of the show.
It seems like a typical show lasts for a pretty long time, but in reality when you are up there it goes by in a flash! During the rest of the show I solved a couple of more puzzles, including the Prize Puzzle, which won me a trip to St. Lucia! After all was said and done, I had won approximately $30,000 and I was going to the Bonus Round! I got really nervous because after Vanna showed R,S,T,L,N,E and the letters that I called, C,D, P, and A, all I saw in the puzzle was _ N _ E N_ _ _ S / D E _ _ C E. A couple of seconds went by, and then I solved the puzzle when some word vomit came out of my mouth and it just happened to be "Ingenious Device", the answer to my Bonus Round puzzle! Pat himself couldn't believe it and he pushed me up against the Bonus Wheel and frisked me to check for bugs! Then he opened the envelope and I won a Mini Cooper! All I can remember at that point is jumping about 6 feet in the air and hugging my mom, dad and best friend. We all ran to the car on set, and as we are smiling and waving to the cameras, Pat jokingly told my parents, "Well, even if you combined what both of you won together, he still annihilated you!" I've never had my own car and those two words from my Bonus Round puzzle had changed my life!
I got out of the car after waving and smiling and listening to my family, friends, and even the band and cheerleaders from Tulane going crazy for me and just felt absolutely blessed. I was in a state of disbelief and asked Vanna to pinch me because it all just didn't feel real. My favorite moment of the day was when Vanna, whom I had watched pretty much every weeknight since I was born, pinched me and said, "Believe it! It's yours! Congratulations!" I feel so blessed and thankful for everything that came my way and I will take so many memories away from this experience! I made new friends, got to meet Pat Sajak and Vanna White, and on top of everything won a trip, a brand new car, and cash to pay off some student loans.
All together it was $60,050 worth of prizes-not a bad afternoon for a college student!