“They are cheering in Temple,” TV host Pat Sajak said as Rosa Beachy solved the final puzzle of Tuesday’s Wheel of Fortune episode, earning her a spot in the Bonus Round.
The Temple resident not only appeared on the long-running game show, but she came away a winner.
Beachy, 31, battled it out with two other Texas residents during the show’s “Salute to Texas” week. The show’s set was outfitted with paraphernalia relating to the Lone Star State.
The episode was filmed in August, but Beachy had to keep her appearance secret until last week.
“It was hard. You weren’t supposed to say any spoilers, so I had to keep as much quiet as possible,” Beachy said.
She held a watch party Tuesday evening with about 20 friends and family members to relive the experience.
“When you’re out on the stage, it’s kind of like a blur. Going into the show (Tuesday) night, I was so curious how everything played out,” Beachy said. “I remembered some of the events, of course, but I didn’t remember every puzzle or how everything came out. It was awesome watching it back.”
Beachy got off to a quick start, solving two puzzles in the opening segment of the show to put her in the lead with $3,000.
A couple rounds later, she solved the phrase, “We’re sending you to Fiji,” earning herself a trip to the South Pacific nation. The value of the trip brought her earnings to $13,064, widening the gap between her and her two opponents.
She then solved the final puzzle of the episode, putting her total winnings at $15,264 and giving her a shot at the Bonus Round.
Beachy, a longtime fan of the show, said she felt compelled to audition for several years before sending a tape in last year. She received an email in June from producers inviting her to an audition in Austin and was informed a few weeks later that she had made the cut. She and her husband, Travis, flew to Los Angeles Aug. 9 for the taping the following day.
Beachy said she enjoys solving the puzzles from the comfort of her living room, but replicating those results from behind the Wheel was a completely different experience.
“Watching it from home, I usually do pretty good, but they say it’s a lot easier to solve from home than it is on stage. I wasn’t sure what to expect,” she said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so I was really excited to see how everything played out, and of course, it was more than I dreamed of.”
Her husband, who received airtime in the audience, said it was a surreal feeling watching the competition from inside the studio.
“The energy in the room, the excitement and watching them play live was a really cool experience,” Travis Beachy said. “She was pretty nervous going into it, but I felt like she did pretty good job of keeping her nerves down and staying focused. She got into the zone and started going after it.”
Beachy had a shot to win a Ford Edge in the bonus round, but wasn’t able to complete the puzzle in the allotted 10 seconds. Still, she walked away with more than $15,000 worth of prizes, including the Fiji trip that she plans to take in the spring.