This Week's Contestant
POSTED on 5-12
The day I taped the show is still a total blur. I remember bits and pieces of the day. The contestant coordinators reminding us to smile, show enthusiasm, call common letters. I could do all that. I never imagined I'd have to "learn" how to spin the Wheel. So when we were rehearsing and it was my turn to spin and guess a letter, the common letter that I called was the letter "V". The puzzle was Cherry Cheesecake and I knew it!!! Why did I call a "V"? I had to calm down before my taping. I was taping the last show of the day. As the day went on Instead of calming down, I became even more nervous.
It was finally time to tape my show. I was lucky enough to be standing next to Pat. The first speed round started and I was later told by my family that I just stood there smiling. The second contestant guessed, but it wasn't right. It took me a couple of seconds to realize he wasn't right. I guessed "Senior Advisor" correctly. Whew money in the bank. Still I was so nervous I couldn't remember the introduction I had rehearsed at home over and over. Calm down is all I kept telling myself.
Puzzle number one came and went. I had no idea what the puzzle was. I still can't remember. The contestant coordinators reminded us to not give up and stay in the game. The second puzzle was on the board. Remember the advice I had been given by friends and the coordinators; "check the used letter board", "don't be greedy", "smile", "show enthusiasm". I'm still nervous. After contestant number three guessed wrong I realized if I just solved the puzzle I'd win $1,000. So I solved and added another $1,000 to my bank.
It was time for the Prize Puzzle. I still couldn't shake the nerves. Stay focused Dee-Dee. As the puzzle progressed I still had no clue. I remembered that I needed to check the used letter board. There was only one vowel left and Pat hadn't said, "There are no more vowels so I bought it. I KNOW THE ANSWER. After buying the vowel I let Pat know I wanted to solve. I remember part if the puzzle had the words "Tiki Torches" and "Luau" as part of the answer. Pat told me I'd won a trip to Hawaii.
I was already on the beach with my husband. Pat did a Final Spin of the Wheel and I was unable to solve it. As we prepared to go to the Bonus Round I couldn't believe that Pat told me he'd be "right back". HUH? I'd only won $2,000 and a trip to Hawaii. For the second time that day I looked at the score board $17, 153 was showing next to my name. I could not believe it! When did that happen?
So there I was at the Bonus Round. My husband and three sons were there to support me. The puzzle had two words. I received the standard R-S-T-L-N-E. I can't believe I don't remember the three consonants I called. I stood there for like 5 seconds (which seemed like 5 years looking at the puzzle board). I "heard" someone say, you can figure it out. "Figure it out" I said out loud? Pat said yes that's it. WHAT ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I JUST WON THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE BONUS ROUND!
I want to thank the contestant coordinators for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. Thanks to my husband and best friend for his continued support and belief in me. To my son Demetrius I just ask forgiveness for calling him by his nickname on national TV "Goober". Mom was so nervous she had no idea!