This Week's Contestant
Kristen & Johnathon E.
POSTED on 6-8
We arrived at Sony Studios at 7:00 in the morning on March 9th. It was interesting that they tape one weeks' worth of shows in one day! We all had turns to practice spinning the Wheel and calling out letters. The Wheel was so heavy! It weighs 2,400 pounds, and it is a lot harder to spin than it looks! I asked my husband if he would spin the Wheel and I would call out the letters. Then we went in the back room to draw numbers to see what couples went first. We were the fourth show to tape, so we got to sit in the audience and watch while three shows were being recorded.
We were just in awe! It was surreal that we were actually in Culver City, CA, at Sony Studios, on the set of the Wheel of Fortune! What a dream come true! We just tried to take it all in! The wheel was smaller on the set than it appeared on TV. Even the clicking sound it made as it was spun sounded different! The letter board looked smaller, but was so crisp and clear. The decorations on the set were amazing! So, we watched the first three episodes tape, and then had lunch. After lunch it was our turn to make our debut on national television. Pat and Vanna were so kind, and the Contestant Coordinators were so friendly and helpful that we were pretty calm and relaxed. But as soon as those lights were shining on us, and we knew we were taping an episode that was going to be on national television, I started sweating bullets and my knees became weak! But everyone was so understanding, and the make-up crew would dry off my face during commercial breaks! And just knowing that my husband was right beside me, made me feel calm. We had only won $2,000 up until Pat gave the Wheel a "Final Spin".
The couple next to us was winning throughout most of the show, and I was sure they were going to make it to the Bonus Round. But, within the last few minutes of the very last round, we ended up solving the puzzle and had made it to the Bonus Round with $26,000! Even though there was a scoreboard to the side of us, I hadn't even looked at it, and didn't even realize we had won until Pat walked behind us and announced that we had made it to the Bonus Round! I was in disbelief! My husband and I were both crying! During the bonus round, I spun the small Wheel, and then we lined up to solve our Final Puzzle. I don't know how we did it! We had 10 seconds to solve it, but it felt like we stood up there for 30 seconds! Everything was in slow motion! I just remembered in the back of my head, one of the Contestant Coordinators saying to us, "Sound it out! Whatever words you think it may be, say it out loud, so your partner may be able to pick up on it, and solve it"! Well, that is exactly what we did! I focused on the last word of the puzzle, and because I said it out loud, my husband was able to solve the first word in the puzzle! When he solved the puzzle, I think even Pat was in disbelief that we had solved it in time!
I don't remember hearing the buzzer sound, but I know we probably only had about a half-second left to solve it before it went off! Pat opened the envelope, and we won an additional $45,000, totaling a win of $71,000 in cash! My husband and I just hugged each other and cried like babies! Appearing on the Wheel of Fortune was by far the most exciting, memorable experience of our lives! We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to appear on the show!
My husband and I have a 10 month old son, named Craig. I just kept thinking about Craig, and if we won a lot of money, how we would love to start a college fund for him. And, we will pay off some bills and be completely debt free! We are donating a portion of our winnings to our wonderful church. And we both agreed that we would like to make some home improvements. We would like to completely fence in the back yard and get a pool, for Craig to enjoy as he gets older. We have a lot of different things we would both enjoy doing with the money.
Even if we hadn't done well, and just won the house minimum of $2,000, we were thrilled to have this opportunity of a lifetime...memories that will last forever!