This Week's Contestant
|Theme:||Home Sweet Home|
What a wild ride! I'm so glad to finally get to share my game day experience. I've been known to hit the snooze button from time to time in order to get those few extra minutes of sleep in the morning. Not this day, no way. I set the alarm on my phone and even requested two separate wake up calls from the front desk, as well as a taxi to be waiting for me in the morning. I took every precaution to ensure I'd be at the studio in plenty of time.
I may have been a bit too cautious, as I arrived on the lot about an hour ahead of time. But hey, I didn't mind. Eventually all the contestants were led to the green room where I saw the familiar faces of the contestant coordinators from my Louisville audition. Immediately we got a crash course in everything Wheel of Fortune: all the rules, the game tips, everything we needed to know to the get most out of our experience.
First stepping on to the set was surreal. Seeing that puzzle board and the big wheel, it looked just like what I saw on TV. And wouldn't you know it, Vanna White came out to greet all of us and wish us good luck. Totally awesome! We got to do a few practice rounds spinning the wheel and calling out the letters. By the way, that wheel was WAY heavier than I thought. Back in the green room we were broken up into groups of 3 and drew balls out of a container to determine show order.
My show was going to be #4 for the day. That gave me time to relaxor notI didn't know which way my nerves would go. Getting to watch the other contestants play was an unexpected surprise. All morning we were sitting in a room together, and in that time we all became like a mini game-day family. It was such a thrill to see people solving puzzle after puzzle, winning prize after prize, cheering each and every one of the on.
Then it was my turn. Standing in the red position on stage, in front of the audience and all those cameras, I was unexpectedly calm. The producer counted us down, I gave one last smile and said good luck to the other players, and then the game was on. Man, did it fly by. I missed the first two toss ups, no big deal. Then on the first puzzle "Before & After" I solved the puzzle incorrectly, one I was sure I had it right. My first thought was, "My family and friends are going to give me so much trouble when this airs. I won't be able to live this one down." Wheel of Fortune was turning out to be a lot harder to play when not in the comfortable of my own home. That was about to change.
The second puzzle came along and I hit my stride. I started guessing all the right letters, landed on a $7,500 wedge, and quickly solved the puzzle. Suddenly I had over $8,500! Things were looking good. Next was the "Prize Puzzle" roundand I had the honor of starting. The wheel nearly gave me a heart attack this round. Every single spin I narrowly avoided the "Bankrupt," literally holding my breath each time that flipper JUST made it over and I'd be in the clear.
The puzzle began to take shape, but I still couldn't put my finger on a particular word. Then the light bulb went off. Given my luck with the first puzzle I made sure to read every single word slowly and clearly, this was one puzzle I couldn't mess upand I didn't! I recall pumping my fists, jumping up and down, heck I think I almost knocked Pat over in excitement. When he said I won a trip to Aruba, well I about lost it completely. Pat and I even staged a fake punch so he could calm me down. After solving the last toss up I was already over $20,000 in cash and prizes and headed off to the bonus round. Was this real? It all happened so fast it was hard to process.
My final puzzle was "Phrase" and only one letter, "N," was revealed the entire puzzle. I had my work cut out for me. It didn't help that I my letter choices weren't better as only a couple more letters were revealed. I was stumped, had no clue. Not being able to solve the puzzle was a bummer, but that feeling didn't last long. I mean c'mon. I had just won Wheel of Fortune, a show that I've loved since I was a kid.
I feel so blessed to have had this opportunity, and being as successful as I was. My cash winnings I will put towards my social media and graphic design business, and who knows, I may get myself a couple" toys" I would otherwise not have. Now I just need to figure out who I'm taking with me to Aruba.
Thank you Wheel of Fortune for a truly amazing experience that I will always talk about and never forget.