This Week's Contestant
|Hometown:||Los Angeles, CA|
POSTED on Tuesday, December 25th, 2012
I don't think I've ever been as nervous as I have been when I arrived at Wheel of Fortune's studio that morning. First off, it was earlier than I had woken up in a long time for any kind of non-early-morning-flight situation, so the coffee and pure adrenaline that I was running on had my nerves pretty frazzled. Secondly, I WAS ABOUT TO BE ON NATIONAL TV! The money and prizes would be nice, but, in all honesty, my main concern was to not look like a complete idiot in front of millions of people. The shame of saying a letter that was already on the board or having a brain fart in the middle of solving a puzzle I would have sworn I had known two seconds earlier were what haunted me in my dreams the night before and were all I thought about during introductions, rehearsals, and everything else that morning.
Being on the week of Christmas and the holidays was even more nerve-wracking, because I figured that meant there would be higher ratings since more people are home with their family and looking for something fun to watch together! I figured it was a blessing and a curse, because what if I tripped? What if I drooled on air and didn't realize? More people than most episodes would be watching!
Of course, my team of three was randomly picked to be the first episode taped that day, so I had no time to scope my surroundings or put my brain back together. Once the music started and Pat and Vanna walked out, what was probably the quickest twenty or so minutes of my life happened. I didn't get the first Toss-Up Puzzle, which was a bummer, but I at least didn't make a complete fool out of myself in the interview, so I figured the first few minutes were a draw. Luckily, I was able to figure out the second Toss-Up Puzzle and as soon as I got that, I was able to calm down a bit. I knew I wasn't going to go empty-handed and I could say that I solved at least one puzzle!
Things kept on rolling my way throughout most of the rest of the game, as I got enough of the puzzles to get to the Bonus Round. I was a bit embarrassed at interrupting Pat at the end when I knew the Bonus Round puzzle as soon as my letters came up, but hey, when I knew I was about to win something big, how could I not get a little impatient? I ended up winning a brand new car in the Bonus Round, and that plus the $11,000+ I won in the earlier rounds meant I went pretty nuts once I found out all my winnings. I mean, getting given a brand new car is something that people just dream of!
I'm still figuring out how I'm going to allocate everything. Definitely a decent chunk of the money will go towards my college loan debt, and most of the rest will go towards helping my family out with some bills. I'll save a little to have fun with for myself as a treat, of course, so we'll see what kind of mini shopping spree I allow myself!
Either way, being on Wheel has been by far one of the most fun and rewarding (and I don't mean that financially) experiences in my life. I got to meet so many other contestants from around the country, the staff behind the show, and experience what it was like working in such an American institution, that even if I had walked away empty-handed, I'd have still been a pretty happy person! As long as I had my dignity intact (which I didmostly), that's all that really mattered.