This Week's Contestant
|Theme:||Ports of Call|
I woke up early on August 18, 2011. The day had finally come that I would be solving puzzles on the show I had dreamt of being on forever! I drove down to the studio in Culver City, feeling nervous, anxious, and excited all at the same time. The hard part was once you got there, you could not use your cell phone. No access with the outside world. I couldn't even call or text my husband to see if he made it to the studio okay. The great thing was the contestant coordinators they were so amazing at making you feel comfortable and making sure you were having fun!While we were getting our makeup done, Vanna White came floating into the room like an illusion. She was so nice to stop by and wish us all luck for the day! Once she popped in, it really all started to feel real, and I became very aware of the moment. In no time, I would be up on the stage spinning the wheel!After we got schooled on the rules and regulations of the game, the coordinators took us out to give us a chance to see the stage, spin the wheel, and get a feel for what we were getting ourselves into for the day. The funniest part was seeing the wheel it looks so enormously huge on television, but it really was much smaller than all of us had imagined! It was heavy, though. It takes some arm strength to spin that wheel around. After a small lunch, we finally got ushered to our seats in the audience to wait for our turn on the show. They passed out our name tags, and I anxiously watched and pictured myself on stage spinning and solving. It became very nerve-racking. I was slated to be in the third taping of the day, and by the middle of show one, my stomach was in knots and I was beginning to feel quite nervous. I didn't expect to feel so apprehensive prior to the taping. I excused myself to get a bottle of water and just relaxthe thought that I would be up on that stage in about 40 minutes was pretty overwhelming! Finally it was my turn. I walked down and took my place on stage. I looked down at the wheel and took some deep breaths. It was time to either go all the way or miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime! I started off the day by solving the first puzzle. It was a long puzzle in the Food and Drink category. I remembered to play smart call vowels when you don't know a letter, and call intelligent letters. It was so exciting to see the puzzle come together I knew I had to solve before I lost my chance! Pat Sajak walked towards me and shook my hand and congratulated me. I got a little tongue tied, but I tried to keep my cool! The second puzzle came around quickly. I felt pretty good, but I knew I was playing with two bright players as well. I had to be sure to play smart and keep my head in the game. Plus, it was a prize puzzle, and you never know what those Wheel of Fortune prizes will be! In addition, the wheel contained a wedge for a car. If you get two of these on your spin and solve the puzzle, you would win a car. I spun and chose good letters, and ended up getting three car wedges! I solved the puzzle so to not lose out on my chance for a prize puzzle. I was correct, and I ended up winning a fabulous ski trip to Vermont! Pat Sajak walked over to me for a second time, and he had a very excited look in his eyes. He said something to the tune of, "You got three cars, so you don't even need this a car!" I was speechless. I still was thinking about the ski trip since I have never been skiing or seen real snow in my life. I looked at him in confusion, because I didn't even realize I had won a car! It all happens so quickly, you don't even have time to relish in what has just happened. I was a little numb, but knew it wasn't over yet. Two more rounds to go if I wanted to get to the Bonus Round! By the third puzzle, I started to realize how close I was to the end. I started out calling intelligent letters, but when I ran out of ideas, I forgot to call out a vowel and called some random letter that was not in the puzzle. Sadly, another player was able to solve the puzzle with the help of some of the letters that were already there. However, in the end, I was the big winner and was headed to the Bonus Round! I was so excited to get down to the center of the stage and spin the prize wheel. Pat Sajak came up and talked to me for a bit and made me feel comfortable. I gave the wheel a nice spin. The letters they give you popped into the puzzle RSTLNE. Unfortunately, only two of those letters appeared. I didn't have much to work with, but I did my best. Only one of my letters popped up, so I had to try and guess whatever I could that would fit in the "Thing" category. I didn't guess the final puzzle, but I had made it all the way there. And you know what? In my head, that is the only place I wanted to be. I didn't know what would happen when I got there, but I knew I would be there! I never had any other vision in my mind but getting to the Bonus Round. I came there with nothing, and left with amazing prizes, a trip, and a new car what more could I ask for? It was such a surreal day. I cannot wait to watch it on television. That will make it even more of a reality. As of now, it still feels like a dream! Once other people see it as well, I will know it is not just something I dreamed up in my head. I could not have asked for a more perfect day on Wheel of Fortune! I even had my chance to hug Vanna White, just as I always knew I would! After the fact, you start thinking, "If only I could have gotten a few more letters in the Bonus Round and solved that last puzzle" But, you can't think that way. You have to see the outstanding opportunity that was given. Not everyone has a chance to be on Wheel of Fortune, and I know how lucky I was to get there. Winning the prizes was such a fantastic feeling! I just got married, so we plan to take our second honeymoon as the ski trip! We love camping and outdoor activities, so the new car will definitely come in handy with our lifestyle. Plus, we plan to have a baby in a few years, so the car will have much more space for a car seat! We also plan to purchase a home soon, so the prize money will certainly come in handy in that respect. We can start our new life together with some exciting perks and a little help from Wheel of Fortune!