Marina del Rey resident Carla Bruckner always thought that the TV game show Wheel of Fortune would be the perfect place to showcase her puzzle-solving skills.
When Bruckner finally got a chance to be a contestant, she showed just how good she is at solving puzzles by winning $46,850 in cash and prizes on a Wheel of Fortune show that aired Monday, March 6th, during “Weekend Getaways Week.”
“I’m pretty good at solving puzzles and I always figured that I could get on Wheel of Fortune and make some money,” said Bruckner, an administrator for a nonprofit organization. “I always wanted to do it.”
Bruckner, who has lived in the Marina for five years, said she was “thrilled” about her winnings, which include a trip to Boston valued at $7,100. The top prize on the wheel was worth $100,000.
While Bruckner, who is originally from New York City, has visited Boston previously, she said she is looking forward to taking the trip with a friend.
“It’ll be a great time,” said Bruckner, who is divorced and has a 29-year-old son, Gabriel.
Wheel of Fortune marked its 23rd season in syndication in September, and Bruckner said she has been watching the game show for many years.
“I’ve always had a thing for Wheel of Fortune,” she said.
More than a million people requested the chance to audition for Wheel of Fortune last year, but fewer than 500 people were selected to appear on the game show, according to a show spokesperson.
Bruckner said she learned about how to become a contestant from the show’s Web site.
She went for a local contestant search at the show’s Culver City studio, where she conducted various “mock puzzles” and took a written test for the show.
Bruckner was initially notified that she was selected as a “stand-in,” but eventually got the call that she was chosen as a contestant for a taping of the show.
Although Bruckner said she was “excited and thrilled” at the chance to be a contestant, she was also worried about being nervous on the show.
But when Bruckner finally got on stage for the November 18th taping, she said the nerves went away and she was ready to play.
“I was a bit of a zombie, but I was okay,” she said. “I was calm.”
Bruckner said she was “extremely lucky” because two of her spins of the wheel landed on the spots labeled “bankrupt” and “lose a turn,” but she was able to solve the puzzle related to Atlantic City, New Jersey, for a winning of $15,000.
Bruckner then won $30,000 on the final puzzle when she gave the answer “making a fuss,” after being given only the letter “n” for the first word, a blank spot for the second word and “ss” for the final word.
Bruckner said she plans to spend her winnings “piece by piece” and will buy gifts for herself, her family and friends.
“I plan to just have fun with it,” she said.