This Week's Contestant
|Theme:||College Week Portland|
POSTED on 8-16
So it happened. The show came and went in a snap. I was told by the contestant coordinators as well as by Pat that it would be the fastest 20 minutes of my life, and boy were they right! These were the fastest, and quite possibly, the best 20 minutes of my life.
Being on stage during rehearsal compared nothing to being on stage with an audience of 2500 people staring back at you. Also knowing my family and friends were out in the audience made me a bit nervous, but I had to make them proud. They have always supported me and they all knew how badly I wanted this opportunity.
Before Pat and Vanna came on stage for the first time, I looked over at the two other contestants; they were two women, from Oregon State University and one from the University of Portland. We all smiled and wished each other luck. We had actually gotten to know each other quite well throughout the day; we all hoped the best for one another.
Finally, it was time. The classic "Wheel of Fortune" chant rang from the audience and the music started playing. The University of Oregon band and cheer team were there to play their fight song while Pat and Vanna walked on. My time had come!
My spot on the stage was right next to Pat. He told us all to grab our toss up buzzers and start the game. The first toss up began and I could not figure it out. The Oregon State girl got that one. She gave her little biography first, and then Pat came to me. I stuttered so badly. It was actually really funny after the fact, but telling Pat my major in school was just the most difficult thing! The second toss up came and I was bested again. The girl from Oregon State solved it and was on a roll because she then proceeded to keep the wheel to herself on the first puzzle. It seemed like a breeze to her. She picked up the $5000 sponsored prize and solved the puzzle with a good $10000 in her bank. After that was the first commercial break. We all got off the stage and had our stage makeup touched up. I spoke briefly to my fellow contestants, but before we knew it, the game was back on.
The next round was the mystery round. It was my turn to begin and I started off on a pretty good roll. I spun the wheel for the third or fourth time and it landed on one of the mystery wedges. I came into the studio not really knowing if I would take the risk or not by turning the wedge over. However, before Pat could finish talking, I told him "You only live once!" and unveiled the 'Bankrupt'. I was pretty disappointed, but I knew the game was not over. The other contestants spun and it was very quickly back to me. By that time I knew what the puzzle was, but wanted to spin to get some money. I landed on the $3500 spot, called a letter and solved the puzzle with $4800 in my bank. By that point I was perfectly happy. All of my nerves had died down once I had one puzzle under my belt. Now I really wanted everyone to get some money and beat that wheel!
The prize puzzle came along. As I think everyone says, the prize puzzle is the one you want to solve and that was my mindset as well! The girl from University of Portland began, started off really well, but the wheel was not on her side. My turn came around and I landed on the bankrupt, on the million dollar wedge! That was my only other bankrupt for the game, so at least I landed on the cool ones! The game ended up coming back to me. I was not even concentrating on how much money I had in my bank, I just wanted to get that prize. I looked at the unsolved puzzle and there was one word I could not figure out. Luckily I called out 'K' to complete another word and the puzzle, "Kicking Back on my Beach Towel" came into my head. I solved it with around $4000 in my bank and Pat told me I won a trip to St. Lucia! I was so happy! Still a little in shock, but I had come what I came to do! Win that prize puzzle!
The rest of the day was just icing on the cake! The third toss up I got right away. The puzzle was 'The Hunger Games' and luckily I was currently reading the book! Pat and I exchanged a laugh when I told him that.
I was to start the next puzzle, but the 'time's out' buzzer sounded and Pat gave his final spin. During the break I asked him to land on the $5000 and to my amazement that's where the wheel stopped! The pressure was on at that point. Even though I currently had the lead, it was anyone's game. I went three tries without finding a letter. The other two contestants had guessed letters here and there, but no one knew what the puzzle was. I finally called out 'B' and Pat said there were FOUR of them. That meant $24000 went into my bank (The final spin adds $1000 to whatever Pat lands on). I knew the second word, but was hung up on the first one. However, before my three seconds were up I figured it out and blurted out the answer! I couldn't believe it. My total before the bonus round was around $42000!!! I remember leaning down on the counter in front of me in amazement and Pat leaned on my back doing the same gesture. It was so fantastic! I made it to the bonus round!
The commercial break between the bonus round was extremely nerve racking. Regardless of what happened I knew I would leave happy, but I wanted to do even better! My mother, father, brother and sister were there with me on stage. They were all smiles which just helped me with that extra boost of confidence.
I spun the wheel to find a prize envelope and walked over to my designated spot. The puzzle came up and Vanna revealed the letters "RSTLNE". There were a few open spaces. I knew the first two words, but could not figure out the last one. I called 'CBMO' and the 'C' that appeared gave it away. I solved it and Pat revealed I won an additional $30000! It was a dream come true! My family rushed up and gave me hugs and we all celebrated! It was amazing!
The rest of the night was just awesome. I kept on getting handshakes and hugs. I called my other sister and told her the news. I was interviewed by a news station close to where I go to school. Then I proceeded to watch the rest of the taping. Later that night I went to dinner with my brother and friend. One of the people who were in the audience was at the same restaurant so he congratulated me again!
It was a very tough month and a half trying to disclose the information on how I did on the show. However, it all worked out for the best and it is awesome seeing all the smiles on my friends' faces when they hear the news!
Wheel of Fortune was an amazing experience. Never in a million years would I have thought I'd be on the show. I still think back at myself in the bottom right corner of the bonus round screen or solving 'The Hunger Games' tossup puzzle and just smile. I will never forget the people I met there. Pat and Vanna were so nice and encouraging throughout the day. I gave them each a big hug when I went and talked to them! The casting coordinators were so energetic and only wanted the best for all of us! The other contestants were all very down to earth people. I am still in contact with a couple of them and hope to get in touch with more!
Special thank you to my family and friends for supporting me and believing I could do it! I'll never forget my time at Wheel! Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!