There are three contestants on “Wheel of Fortune” during every show; however, it was one contestant on Thursday, May 30 who won the $1 million prize.
It is always exciting to watch the contestants win their way to the final round where they spin for the grand prize.
Everything happened as it was supposed to for Autumn Erhard of Laguna Niguel, Calif., on Thursday night.
“Wheel of Fortune” has been celebrating its 30th season all week. Contestants were chosen if they had something to celebrate involving the number 30. Erhard is 30 years old.
To summarize what had to happen for Erhard to win:
- She had to win the $1 million wedge during regular spinning.
- She had to solve a puzzle and reach the bonus round without ever spinning “bankrupt.”
- Because she took the $1 million wedge to the bonus round, the $100,000 top prize was in one of the envelopes on the 24-slot bonus round wheel.
- She had to pick the envelope containing $1 million.
- She had to pick the correct letters to solve the puzzle
- Finally, she had to solve the puzzle in 10 seconds.
Erhard picked a limited number of letters that were in the puzzle. She had only three letters to work with on the board. Since she had a Wild Card she got a chance to call another consolate. She ended up with these letters: T, G, R, T.
Host Pat Sajak didn’t think she could solve the puzzle. He said, “Oh, boy. Well … uh, this looks challenging.”
He did offer his usual encouragement to contestants. “Talk it out, you’re a good player, you never know…”
However, Erhard solved the puzzle to everyone’s surprise in about 3 seconds: “TOUGH WORKOUT.”
Erhard’s reaction according to ABC 33/40:
“I am in complete and utter shock. I’m shaking. I came here today because I love the game, I wanted to have some fun and solve some puzzles -– I feel like I’m in a dream!”
Watch the surprising end in the video on the left to see that Erhard ended up with $1,030,340. Not bad for half an hour of fun.
Congratulations to Autumn Erhard who is engaged.
The only other contestant to win the top prize was in October 2008, the first year the show offered the $1 million prize.