Andrea A's Blog Post
My heart raced and I could feel my face turn red as we started the first toss up. As the game progressed my nerves slowly went away. I was bummed not to have solved the first two puzzles and to have hit bankrupt with a good chunk of money already earned. Between each commercial break we had our hair and make-up checked and we were each given water to drink, plus lots of encouragement which helped so much! My luck with the Wheel wasn't the greatest as the game continued on. I didn't solve the second toss up and had no luck with the prize puzzle. By the third toss up I was determined to at least solve one puzzle. Yet again I didn't get it. Time was running out and Pat gave the Wheel a final spin. It landed on $5,000! After the extra $1,000, it was up to $6,000 a consonant! The category was People and as my turn came I called out an "N" and there was three of them up there. I couldn't quite figure out the puzzle yet. Then, right after the buzzer sounded and Pat moved on I figured it out. I held my breath and hoped it would make it back to me. By this time I had totally forgotten the amount per consonant, I just wanted to solve one puzzle! Then it happened. I had one more opportunity. I called out an "L" and said "Great Aunts and Uncles!" I solved it! As Pat walked over I think he realized too that I had no clue that I was going to the bonus round. I was speechless and at a loss of words as I turned and saw $24,000 under my name.
As we took a very short break to prep for the bonus round and my hair and make-up was being fixed and lots of people were talking and explaining to me what was to be going on next, it hit me and I started crying. I was so excited and overwhelmed with all sorts of emotions. I went from accepting the fact that I was going home with $1,000 and a fun, very cool experience to $24,000 richer and playing the bonus round. All within a few short minutes. It was crazy! As they were counting down to tape the bonus round Pat, who is one of the nicest people I've ever met, said "Remember to relax and just have fun, " and I replied with "Anything that happens now is just gravy. I can't believe I just won $24,000 less than five minutes ago." I spun the bonus wheel and Pat took my hand and we walked over to the mark. The category was things and I focused in on the letter board. I called out what I thought were sensible letters, B, D, H, and an O as my vowel. Slowly the puzzle started to light up and it kept going. Again, there I was standing there speechless and overcome by disbelief. The puzzle was almost completely spelled out for me. I called it out, "Wooden Bunk Beds!" Pat opened up the prize envelope and it read $35,000. My husband, Dad and two good friends ran out. We were all so excited and thrilled. My husband had to point out my total to me, I had forgotten about the previous $24,000.
In total I walked away with $59,000. It has been one of the hardest things to wrap my mind around. I still think it never happened. It was even harder to keep it a secret for so long. It didn't take long to think about what we would like to do with the winnings. Of course, first and foremost, we plan on taking my two children to Disneyland. My 4 year old son has never been and I'm excited to be able take him. The rest, after taxes, is going into savings for my two children. They grow up so fast and I want to have a head start on saving for them for college and beyond. This will definitely give me a good start. I want to thank everyone at Wheel of Fortune for giving me this amazing once in a lifetime opportunity. Its truly one I'll never forget.