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Inwood woman puts positive spin on 'Wheel' appearance

November 23, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

INWOOD, W.Va. -- The "Wheel of Fortune" episode featuring a Berkeley County, W.Va., woman aired Monday night and while the experience did not go entirely as planned, she said it was definitely one worth having.

Stephanie Dillow of Inwood appeared as a contestant on the long-running game show, which has been on the air for 26 years.

Apprehensive to observe herself on film, Dillow said that evening it was actually "cool" seeing herself on television.

However, watching as she came in third place was somewhat upsetting, she said.

"One of the puzzles was obvious, but I was nervous and uncertain," she said. "It was a bit irritating seeing what happened again."

Dillow compiled a decent amount of money and had a trip to New Orleans on one puzzle before hitting Lose a Turn. Later, in the final round, she had a chance to win several thousand dollars, but was buzzed out before she could name the puzzle. On both occasions, the contestant to her left guessed the puzzle shortly thereafter.

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That contestant went on to guess the bonus round puzzle and won more than $39,000.

Even though she did not solve a puzzle, Dillow said she won $1,000 just for being a contestant.

"Basically, it was reimbursement for going out there," she said. "What happened was partially luck, partially my fault, but it was fun."

It came as a shock to Dillow when the application she filled out on a whim landed her an audition in Herndon, Va., and eventually a spot on the show.

An outgoing person, she said the studio, Sony Pictures Studio, was looking for contestants like herself who would cheer, clap and be bubbly on camera.

While Dillow was certain to be near a television at 7 p.m. on Monday, she said she missed a party for her episode at Buffalo Wild Wings in Martinsburg, W.Va., because she was three hours away hunting in Barbour County, W.Va.

A group of her family and friends filled the restaurant to watch the show, she said.

It felt funny to know everyone was watching without her, but Dillow said her cell phone was filled with messages of congratulations.

Friends also recorded the show for her as a keepsake, she said.

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