BEAVERCREEK TOWNSHIP — Erika Tate had one big goal while appearing on “Wheel of Fortune” on Tuesday.
“I just didn’t want to do anything stupid,” the Beavercreek Township resident said.
Mission accomplished. And then some.
Tate, a long-time employee of the U.S. Air Force, was the big winner on the popular game show, taking home $21,528 in cash and prizes including trips to Belize and New York. She made it to the bonus round but was unable to solve the final puzzle – “lovely bouquet.”
“I remember I had the lovely part,” Tate said. “That doggone Q.”
Tate, who watched the show for decades with family, said it’s definitely different than being at home.
“You can see the (timer) clock off to the side, you’ve got all these things rolling around in your head,” she said. “I was close, I was right there. It was a good day. I was always praying, ‘Lord, I’d like to get to the bonus round.’ ”
She made it there in dominating fashion by winning toss up two, and rounds one (crossword), three and five (final spin).
It’s not as easy as it looks. Tate said while sitting at home it’s easy to criticize a player.
“You’re like, ‘No, why didn’t you see that?’ ” she said. But with the studio lights on, and of course Pat Sajak being a few feet away, it’s a lot different. Tate handled it pretty well.
“I guess I wasn’t really too nervous,” she said. “(But) I can tell you that wheel is heavy. Even if I didn’t win, I just wanted the experience of being on a game show and getting a chance to meet Vanna (White) and Pat (Sajak).”
Tate described White as a “very personable” low-key kind of lady.
After the show Tate had a chance to take a group photo with the other contestants.
“We got a chance to talk to some wonderful people,” Tate said. “People from all walks of life. You have that common bond now.”
And Tate also has some cash and a couple trips as well.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.