Solve this “Wheel of Fortune” puzzle. The category is “People,” and you have the vowels to get you started. Go!
_ A _ IE _ O _ E
Got it? If you guessed KATIE POPE you are correct! Sadly, there are no prizes for your correct answer. But you do get the opportunity to learn about a local teacher who did win big on the real “Wheel of Fortune” (more than $50,000 in cash and trips) and live vicariously through her experience.
Pope, a long-time fan of the show, got her shot to be a contestant when the traveling “Wheel Mobile” stopped in Fresno last June. It was a chance for the local mother-of-three to cross an item off her bucket list…and boy did she!
After her initial audition in Fresno, five months passed before she was asked to attend a call-back in Modesto. Pope finally made it down to Southern California in December to spin the wheel, and on February 25, her episode aired. Much to the surprise of many Fresnans tuning in that night, one of their own would walk away the big winner!
A few even took to Twitter to congratulate Pope. Catherine Ybarra tweeted “Way to go!” along with a blurry photo of Pope’s winning moment. And Mike McKinsey said, “You made us proud!”
— Catherine Ybarra (@catherinepybar1) February 26, 2015
— Mike McKinsey (@acidentalheaven) February 26, 2015
Pope jokes that hovering (the answer to the final puzzle) is her new favorite word. Or maybe she’s serious. It did win her a pile of cash, so to speak. Here she talks about the process of making it to the show, and answers the two questions you’re all dying to know: What are Pat and Vanna like? And what is she going to do with all that money?