Carrie W. & Kathie K's Blog Post
Being on Wheel of Fortune has been on my bucket list longer than any other crazy adventure I have taken in my life… Which are several. After bungee jumping, skydiving, and climbing the Great Wall of China, appearing on Wheel of Fortune has been one of the greatest thrills of my life.
I started watching Wheel long before I can remember, but my earliest memories of watching Wheel included watching my mom, Kathie, miraculously solve the puzzles, long before the contestants, from the kitchen while I watched in the living room. I LOVED game shows always and forever, but this game show in particular belonged to my mom. She was incredible!
Fast forward decades later when my game show obsession was taken to a whole new level and I started not only watching game shows, but also auditioning to win my big fortune! I applied for Wheel’s Family Week because if I were going to do this, I would need my miracle puzzle-solving Mama to come with me. This was in 2011!
When we auditioned I was pregnant with my first baby girl. We had such an amazing experience auditioning, we were just grateful for the opportunity and didn’t’ think much else about it afterwards when the casting department never followed up.
You can imagine our surprise when in August 2015 we received a phone call offering us a spot as alternates for the annual Secret Santa Family Week episode! Ironically, I was pregnant again…with my 2nd baby girl! I had also had a baby boy between the girls. So much time had passed but we were ready as ever for the opportunity. The casting department didn’t end up needing us last year, but brought us back this year for the opportunity we had been waiting not just 5 years, but my whole life for. In fact we filmed just days before my 33rd birthday.
The day was so exciting and went by in such a blur. Nothing could have prepared us for how well the day went for us. The first two Toss-Ups went by solved by other teams. I was so nervous that we wouldn’t get to actually solve any puzzles that I solved the first one when we didn’t even have any money in the bank. During the commercial break, my mom turned to me and said, “We didn’t even have any money!” The nerves really do get to you when you are on television, but that success of that first puzzle propelled the rest of the game. I still cannot believe some of the solves we had. Specifically in Bonus Land.
I remember when we made it to Bonus Land, I insisted my Mom spin the Bonus Wheel. She had been so nervous the whole game she didn’t spin the big Wheel once. We made it this far, and she was the whole reason I was here in the first place. I wanted to make sure she had a chance to spin at least one Wheel. As Pat pulled us over in front of the puzzle, she leaned in and whispered to me, “I am too nervous, you guess the letters.” It threw me a little because she had been my rock the entire game. I guessed 3 completely random letters, and was in a state of shock when the puzzle came into focus and I realized I guess the perfect 3 letters. I knew the answer…I NEVER KNOW THE BONUS ROUND ANSWER!!! As Pat announced our victory my Mom and I were so overwhelmed with our success we had completely forgotten about the prize that came with my Mom spinning the Wheel. Pat opened the envelope and while he didn’t show it to us, I saw the envelope over his shoulder before he leaned into the camera to show it off…$100,000!!!!!
I have been watching this show my whole life and I have never seen anyone win the big money. Never in my wildest dreams did I think it possible that we would be going home with the grand prize. And on top of that…this is Secret Santa week...Secret Santa…a tradition in our home my Mom has always held close to heart, choosing an unsuspecting special someone to be gifted goodies over the holiday season…after 33 years of watching while cleaning up endless family dinners…after 5 years of waiting for a call from the casting department…It was a glorious moment and I am so beyond joyous that I got to do this with my Mom and we are both thrilled that someone watching at home will get the holiday gift of winning our prizes as well.