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steve Steve S.


Before email, before the internet, and back when I was my parents remote control, I fell in love with Wheel of Fortune. Legitimately “back in the day” y’all!! The days of shopping with your prize money. Wheel is a childhood memory of being with family in front of the TV seeing who could solve it first. Fast forward to today and it’s still the same…. My son, my wife, myself, in front of the TV as a family solving puzzles. For years I've been telling my wife how much I desired to be on this show that I’ve watched thousands of times. Dreams come true. I got that email that I always imagined getting. We want you to play! I watched myself play on TV last night. My wife, my sons, in front of the TV just like it was when I was 13 years old. Surreal is an understatement. Out of body is the only way I can explain it. Here are the things that I will always remember:

1. The other contestants. You gather in the early morning with a group of people that are arguably having the best day of their lives! The endorphins and adrenaline are full throttle! The possibility of a life changer is very real. In the midst of all that, you forget about the outside world and just love on people. Such a. Connection.

2. The first walk into the studio, like the promised land! The Wheel!! That’s the Wheel! It was a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory moment. It was Christmas morning as a 5 year old. It’s a first date with someone you dreamed of meeting. It’s pure happiness.

3. The entire Wheel team Every. Single. One. This is a show that’s been on for 4 decades. I’m sure ANY job can become monotonous but you wouldn’t know it from how they make you feel, from start to finish.

4. The Pat and Vanna walk out. This is really happening. All I kept saying to myself was, “This is real. That’s Pat! That’s Vanna!” And BAM the game starts. I saw that first toss up and KNEW it. Hit the button and in my head was “yeah!” Then I heard Pat say, “Steve?” And I blanked. Classic! Had to shake it off and put the game face on.

5. The overwhelming nature of it all - I will NEVER EVER again sit at home and talk trash to a contestant. “How did they not…” “Why didn’t they….” You will never know the pressure until you are on that set playing. The day i played Wheel, a wonderful, kind and joyful woman mispronounced a puzzle under this crazy pressure. My heart did hurt for her. You can see it on my face when I have to repeat it. Today the trolls of the internet are doing what they do worst, taking shots at a woman who was also there just living her dream of playing America’s Game. I wish it was different because Shauna deserves none of that!

The internet came at me a bit, calling me arrogant and cocky. What you saw from me was 40 years of PURE joy and unapologetic excitement. I came to play and I came to try and win. I took a HUGE $26k bankrupt on the first puzzle! Life throws curveballs so shake em off and move on! No gamble, No future!

I will forever remember this time of my life. What a bucket list check mark this was. The icing was that I was able to play with the legend, Pat Sajak! He was such a gracious and engaging icon and was EXACTLY what I hoped he would be! Thank you Pat for all the years. When I spoke with Maggie I told her I felt like we were related because of all the time I have spent with her Dad over the years. Thank you so very much for this gift of playing the Wheel!! I would definitely answer that call for Fan Favorites week! LETS GOOOO!!!!