ST. GEORGE — As John Pfeiffer was preparing to compete in the Wheel of Fortune game show, he kept telling himself not to make a mistake like guessing a letter that had already been guessed by another contestant.
Once on the show, “I immediately did that,” Pfeiffer said with a laugh.
Regardless of any mistakes that Pfeiffer, a retired St. George resident, made while competing in the Wheel of Fortune episode that aired Tuesday, he ultimately won, scoring $31,678 and a trip to Barbados.
Wheel of Fortune is a TV game show where three contestants spin a wheel with prizes and guess hidden phrases by calling out letters one at a time.
Pfeiffer’s path to winning Wheel of Fortune began on a trip to Las Vegas for a funeral. During the trip, he attended an “Wheelmobile” event, which is an event where hundreds of people fill out applications to appear on the show. After being called to an audition in Salt Lake City, Pfeiffer was eventually chosen to be a contestant on the show he had watched with his wife for over 30 years.
“There are so many things to pay attention to while you’re doing the show, and I’ll tell you – my brain was mush,” Pfeiffer said. “Still, every minute of it was fun. I enjoyed it.”
The most thrilling part of the show for Pfeiffer was not winning the cash – it was winning the all-inclusive trip to Barbados, he said. And even though Pfeiffer won $31,678, he estimates that he’ll have to pay $12,000 in taxes.
The episode that Pfeiffer won was taped in mid-August, but it didn’t air until Tuesday, which is when he was able to see himself on TV like everyone else.
“I laughed a lot (watching myself),” he said. “Being there, I didn’t know what was going on the whole time and I’m just so glad I did as well as I did. But I actually didn’t look as goofy as I thought I was going to.”
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