On Wheel of Fortune Tuesday night, kindergarten teacher Julie Moore of De Soto, Illinois, started out strong and spent about half of the show holding a one-million-dollar wedge. As her fellow contestants, Kyle Braunschweig from Milwaukee and Tiffany Rivera from the Bronx, went down in bankruptcy, Julie guessed letter after letter and solved puzzles with ease: “The Western Hemisphere,” “Don’t Forget to Bring Your Sunglasses.” With the latter, Julie got ecstatic: “Where should I not forget to bring my sunglasses? Where? Where?”
Pat Sajak cracked a joke about how he was losing control of the show, then let Julie Moore know that she was going on a Caribbean vacation. From her jumping up and down and shrieking, I think she liked that. Pat asked Julie if it was okay to go to commercial. “Absolutely!” she replied, waving the million dollar wedge back and forth.
The next puzzle was a Before and After, and Julie was on a roll! She guessed about five letters. But then it was scary. She spun, and the wheel stopped just short of Bankruptcy for her. She took a deep breath, asked for the letter S, and solved the puzzle: “Instant Message in a Bottle.”
They went to commercial; it was halfway through the show. Julie Moore was up to $11, 850. Tiffany had $3,000. Kyle was at 0. It’s “kind of exciting,” Pat said, and it was! It looked like Julie owned the game and was home free.
Then, a toss-up. Kyle got it: “Prairie Dogs.” Julie high-fived him and cheered him on.
The next category was What Are You Doing? Julie spun, and oh no, it landed on Bankrupt! I admired her cheerfulness as she relinquished her big lead and turned in her $1 million wedge. Things can change fast.
Kyle solved the puzzle: “Posing for a Portrait.” Next category: People. Tiffany got it, “Optimists and Pessimists.” And suddenly, the tables had turned. That was the game. Tiffany was the big winner, with $13, 200. Kyle had $6,700, and Julie finished with $6,400-plus her trip to the Caribbean!
Julie brought her mother, Ann Weeks of Alton, Illinois, her sister, Lisa Giaimo of Minnesota, and of course her daughter Emily, who convinced her to stay when she wanted to leave her audition in Metropolis, Illinois, in May. Emily’s friend, Teal Shackleton of De Soto, came along too. After appearing on the show, Julie, along with her family and friends, was treated to a bus tour of Hollywood.
Julie told Pat Sajak at the beginning of the show that besides spending time with the kindergartners and keeping up with her daughter Emily’s school activities, she’s also going for a master’s degree in Workforce Education. My hat is off to her.
You could tell that Julie Moore had a good time on Wheel of Fortune and was a really good sport. I hope her kindergartners were watching.
And Julie, don’t forget to bring your sunglasses!
Source: Wheel of Fortune TV show, Tuesday, October 19, 2010.
See also: Southern Illinois University Carbondale Student Tyler Hohmann Fails to Solve Any Puzzles on Wheel of Fortune