Warning: If you happened to have DVR’d Monday’s “Wheel of Fortune” and haven’t watched it yet, spoilers lie ahead.
Kia McAdams, an assistant elementary-school principal from Fort Worth, was a contestant on Monday night’s “Wheel of Fortune.” And she did very well. Although she did have a little help from luck and from another contestant who apparently suffered a last-second mental block.
McAdams won $18,576 in cash and prizes, including a trip to the Caribbean. And she ran the table — er, the wheel — throughout the show, aided by other contestants hitting “bankrupt” or losing their turns.
The first puzzle, a “Before and After,” had the solution “Touched by an angel hair pasta.” During McAdams’ turns, she bought vowels and kept choosing consonants to run up her score before going for the solution.
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“I love the [way] you build up the drama,” host Pat Sajak said, “[and] pretend you don’t know it.”
During the second puzzle, McAdams lost a turn, but then one of her competitors went bankrupt and the other lost a turn, putting the wheel back in McAdams’ court so that she could solve “Gently falling snowflakes.”
But it was the third puzzle where she benefited most from another contestant’s, er misfortune. The category: “What are you doing?” The grid, after many letters had been filled in:
That seemed like a gimme for fellow contestant Kurt, who’d guessed the “D” in that middle one, which had been giving the contestants problems. But when he said he wanted to solve the puzzle, he blanked on the blank, unable to come up with a second word at all. Kia’s turn was next, and she quickly solved the puzzle with “Sailing, Diving, Fishing.”
Not coincidentally, that was the one that won her the Caribbean vacation.
A fourth puzzle also tripped up contestants: Once they got the first word in “cranberry-glazed ham,” it was a while before McAdams guessed that the part after the hyphen was something than another fruit. But she got that one, too.
McAdams had drawn a wedge that gave her a shot at winning $1 million but was unable to solve the final puzzle, which the leading contestant tries to solve solo. But she still walked off with nearly $19,000 and the Caribbean trip. She didn’t miss out on the million, but she did miss out on an additional $50,000.
And an at-home viewer could have won the same amount of money that McAdams did.
“Whatever she wins on the show, a lucky Wheel Watchers Club member at home can win too!,” says a release from the show. “From Dec. 10 through Dec. 21, every in-studio contestant, including Kia, will become a “Secret Santa” to an at-home viewer. During that time, if the viewer has an active Wheel Watchers Club SPIN ID number, he or she will be eligible to win the exact same prizes won by an in-studio contestant, including once-in-a-lifetime vacations, new cars, and cash prizes.”
The release says that McAdams is married with two children. She enjoys traveling (especially to the beach; good thing she got that Caribbean trip), reading books and cooking, and not surprisingly, her family enjoys watching the show, hosted by Sajak and featuring Vanna White. “Kia tunes in every night with her son and daughter.”
“When the Wheelmobile came to Dallas” — specifically, to Fort Worth and The Colony — Kia decided to test her puzzle-solving skills and begin her journey to become a contestant,” the release says.
“Wheel of Fortune” airs at 6:30 p.m. weeknights on KTVT/Channel 11.