This Week's Contestant
|Theme:||Fun & Fit|
POSTED 11-5When my alarm went off at 5:30 a.m. the day of my taping, I wasn't nervous. I was terrified! I was stressed about what I was going to wear, I was stressed about not playing well and I was stressed about making a fool of myself on national television. But, I was also excited and ready to have some fun. I was going on WHEEL OF FORTUNE!
The other contestants and I were going over some of the show specifics before the taping and a woman walked in to chat with the person going over the paperwork with us. We all just looked away while they talked and she looked at us and, realizing we didn't know who she was, said, "Hi guys, I'm Vanna White!" We all nearly lost it; it was Vanna in real clothes, not one of her gorgeous gowns, and she had just dropped in to say hi before going to makeup and getting ready. It was definitely a "pinch me" moment.
Beside having to change my shirt (there was a water drop on it and the HD cameras did not approve) and not doing well during the practice rounds, nothing could get me down. We were all having a blast hanging out on the set, which is much smaller in person, and doing practice spins on the wheel, which is much heavier than it looks. By the time my show was ready to be filmed, I had worked out my nervous kinks and was ready to go.
The first toss-up was funny; I knew it but didn't click quickly enough to solve first. But, the first player to click was incorrect; so I clicked again to solve but again didn't click quickly enough. The second player solved it incorrectly, too. So, I solved by default. Then, I solved the second toss-up! I remember thinking, "Okay, if I don't win any other puzzles, I've at least won these two." The rest of the game flew by.
I solved when I should have kept spinning, I kept spinning when I should have solved, and I was "that player" who forgot that she was playing a prize puzzle. The player before me had solved the prize puzzle incorrectly and I knew it, but I didn't have any money in my bank for that puzzle, so I spun! I spun when I knew the prize puzzle! Then, I spun AGAIN! Looking back on that, I'm so lucky I didn't hit a "Bankrupt" or a "Lose a Turn." I finally got smart and solved the puzzle, and was of course mortified when Pat Sajak said, "I was hoping you'd solve!" That's when I remembered it was a prize puzzle and my stomach sank. Whoops! I won a trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and was literally shocked, one of my friends got married there earlier this year and I wanted to go so badly but couldn't afford it.
I made it to the Bonus Round (another "pinch me" moment), and had to say goodbye to $30,000 because I couldn't solve the final puzzle. I really didn't mind, though. I had so much fun, won more than $19,000, and got to give my family a shout-out on national television. Thank you, Wheel! (And my credit card thanks you, too.)