'Wheel' payout for Woodbury worker: cash, tripsHastings resident Ryan Levine was a big winner on Wednesday night's showing of the Wheel of Fortune. He won $43,000 in cash and two all-expenses-paid vacations.
By: Chad Richardson, Hastings Star Gazette
Hastings resident Ryan Levine was a big winner on Wednesday night's showing of the Wheel of Fortune. He won $43,000 in cash and two all-expenses-paid vacations.
Through the first found rounds, Levine, an employee at Woodbury's Shane Co., won $13,000 in cash and the two trips, which had a total value of $13,000.
Levine advanced to the final puzzle, which was a phrase. He was given the normal assortment of letters (R, S, T, L, N and E). He then chose H, D, B and O.
What he saw when he looked up on the board was "?ord to the ??se."
He doubled over with shock upon seeing the puzzle. He solved it in his mind immediately: Word to the wise.
"There was just this overwhelming feeling," he said. "I don't know. It was just like exuberance. I just keeled over. I put my hands on my knees and laughed. Pat (Sajak) looked over at me and said 'You think you just want to go ahead and solve it?'
"I called it, and everyone just started applauding."
Sajak opened the envelope and Levine saw he won $30,000 in cash.
Levine was encouraged by his wife Samantha to try out for the show. He's happy she prodded him, and the two were thrilled with the outcome. They plan to put the money aside.
"We're just going to put it in the bank," he said. "Maybe some safe investments. We want to get ourselves some land. That's our big dream. This moves us a big step closer to securing some land."
The two have a year to use the two trips. One is to a historic bed-and-breakfast in upstate New York and another is to the Virgin Islands.
"It was surreal," Levine said. "It was almost an out-of-body experience."