This Week's Contestant
I am so glad the show has finally aired! It has been fun and a little crazy with about 1/2 of the people I run into asking me how I did, how much I made and the other 1/2 not wanting to know because they can't wait to watch it. I've been stopped on the street by complete strangers saying that they saw my picture in the local paper or television stationand congratulating me on making iton the Wheel of Fortune. My wife and kids were sworn to secrecy and my son and daughter came home from school every day saying someone asked them how I did. I'm so proud of them for keeping it secret!
With the theme that week being 'Halloween Week' I knew going in there were going to be some Halloween puzzles. I was so excited to be in the number one spot next to Pat with the buzzer in my hand waiting for the letters to start popping up. First one letter, then two, then the third letter popped up and I'm thinking "I know this!" I started clicking my buzzer and Pat said 'Bryan' and I said 'Trick or Treaters!' BOOM...$1,000!!! We had a little chit chat and I kept it short and sweet. Talked about my lovely wife, my two kids and that I worked for the #1 Farm Publication in the Upper Midwest. I figured I'd score some brownie points with my employer!
The next toss up puzzle...got it! Now I'm up $3000 and then I started relaxing. My biggest fear was that after going through the Wheelmobile auditions, getting the call back for the final audition and finding out that night that they wanted me in L.A. the very next Friday to tape the show, booking airline tickets and rooms and finally getting on the show and then having the game where you only spin and get 'Bankrupts' or 'Lose a Turns' and then not being able to pick the right letter or solve a puzzle and being that contestant where Pat comes down and says 'Bryan, you had some bad luck with the wheel but we're glad you came out here and we have $1000 for you.' I don't want to sound ungrateful but I didn't want to be that guy and after I got that second 'Toss Up' I knew I wouldn't be that guy.
Everything was happening sooo fast. I spun the wheel and got a 'Wild' card. It was so exciting pulling something off the wheel, just like I'd seen contestants do on TV! We played the round and one of my fellow contestants solved the puzzle and made some money. We went to a commercial break and they had us all step away from the wheel so they could change some of the wedges, putting some different prizes on the wheel. When I stepped down I had to take the 'Wild' card with me because that was mine until I used it or lost it. The excitement didn't stop there! When I stepped down I felt like I was on the sidelines of the Super Bowl and I'd just stepped off the field. Someone from the staff was handing me a bottle of water, another had a powder puff with 'Bryan' written in Sharpie and she was touching up my make-up and the other one was telling us what they were changing on the wheel and that we were doing a great job and to keep the energy up and then 'Bamm!' we're back at the wheel playing the game.
I live in Fargo which is big Minnesota Viking Football country since Minnesota is across the river from us. The Vikings biggest rivals are the Green Bay Packers and that ended up being one of the puzzles I solved. When I realized that the puzzle was 'The Green Bay Packers' a smile came across my face as I imagined all of my friends that are Minnesota Viking fans and what it was going to be like watching the show with them especially since the Green Bay Packers were putting some money in my wallet!
There was another puzzle that had a lot of letters on it and I was in control of the board.The categorywas 'Same Letter'. I spun the wheel and it landed on $3,500! I studied the puzzle carefully and asked for an 'N'.There was one'N'. I looked down at the 'Wild' card and thought'this is the time to go for it!' I handed the card to Pat and said 'Pat, give me a whole bunch ofS's.' Pat got a funny look on his face and I could see him glancingoff stage and thenI said in a clear voice 'S'.He smiled and said'Bryan, there are 5 S's.' Wow, with the previous letters there was over$20,000 outthere. I had bought some vowels and was one word away from solving the puzzle in my headbut I needed to either buy another vowel or spin. I wasn't surewhich vowel to buy but I knew there were someG's up there so I decided to spin. The wheel was spinning around, I'm looking at the puzzle then I got it 'Ghosts, Goblins, Ghouls and Gremlins'! I looked down and sawthe wheel stop on 'Bankrupt'. Oh man, sooo close!!
I didn't let it throw me.At that time I still hadwon $6,100 and there was still time left. I did solve another TossUp and got my total up to $9,100.We got to the final puzzle and I knew the last word was'Laboratory' but I just couldn't get 'Science'. My fellow contestants hadwon some cash and trips so while I didn't make it to the Bonus Round I still had a phenomenal time! Pat cameover and congratulated me and said he was going to try and make it out to Fargo sometime.
This has been an experience I will never forget. Thank you so much for all the years of enjoyment watchinga game the whole family can enjoy and for having a Wheelmobile that travels around the country giving people likeme an opportunity to actually get on the show. I have family and friends from Toledo, OH, Spring Lake, NC, Georgia, Texas, Washington, Virginia and Florida that have gotten together to watch me on the Wheel of Fortune andagain, while I didn't make it to the Bonus Round I know I made them proud. Thank you!!!