The time my Valentine was on Wheel of Fortune

For those of you who don't know, my husband was a contestant on Wheel of Fortune.

For whatever reason, the fact I made an appearance on the non-televised Price is Right Live in Las Vegas, only to be outbid by $1 in bidder's row, never seems to excite people as much as the charming Pat Sajak, the big, heavy Wheel and the always-stunning Vanna freaking White.

All that to say, my biggest claim to fame is my husband's claim to fame.

On Jan. 30, we celebrated eight years since his episode aired, and by celebrated, I mean we watched Wheel of Fortune and Rob beat me at solving the puzzles as usual. For this Valentine's Day, I thought I'd write about the experience (at least from my point of view) for a few reasons.

1) We're not getting any younger and will eventually forget the little details.
2) Rob's had 8 years to blog about it and hasn't.
3) We're on a finish-the-basement budget, but this is one thing I could give him for V-Day.

So, without further ado: the story. In bullet points. Because otherwise it would be a book.

-WOF came to Iowa State for Big 12 week and students submitted their names for tryouts.
-Rob's name wasn't chosen.
-But his friend Eric's was.

Rob and Eric cozying up hillside at Jack Trice in Ames. There was a big group of us, but this is an unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on your opinion) crop job.
 -Eric had to work, so he gave Rob his tryout spot (just remembered we owe Eric our firstborn. Shit, we're kinda attached to her now.)

-Rob and I asked my cousin Jill and her husband, who appeared on WOF earlier that year during Sweethearts Week, for advice.

Jill and Nick, with their sweethearts
-They said, "Act like the tryout is the real deal."
-Rob worked the night shift and didn't go to sleep before the tryout.
-My man aced the tryout. He clapped like a madman and solved the puzzles like a pro.
-He went home and slept.
-Life went on.
-He got a letter in the mail saying he didn't make the cut for Big 12 week.
-But WOF reserved the right to call him as a contestant for the next 18 months
-He got a call.
-The wanted him to be on the show November 2.
-This was about 10 days away.
-Rob, his mom and I were California bound.

I love Cindy's expression in this photo!
-No, WOF didn't pay for our flights, or our hotel. That's why they give contestants the $1,000 minimum parting gift.
-We arrived in LA and checked into the Radisson Hotel, where all the contestants stay.
-We all crashed early do to pure exhaustion and the time difference, not to mention the next day was a biggie.
-We were all up at 5 a.m., rearing to go.
-Rob took a shuttle to the studio.
-His mom and I later took a cab ride to the studio lot.
-We tried not to freak out. Moms and girlfriends get nervous, too.
-We arrived and they told us DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH THE CONTESTANTS AT ALL, approximately 734 times.
-We stepped into the WOF set.
-And there was my now-husband's face on the giant big screen.

Like this, except eight years younger and without the beer.
-He had been chosen for the first show (they tape six in one day) and was practicing.
-Rob's mom told me not to look at him 734 times.
-I told her not to look at her son 735 times.
-We took our seats and silent-freaked out some more.
-Rob practiced winning the final puzzle and sprinting toward the car.
-Rob fell down.
(pause for laughter)
-We did not sue WOF.
-The contestants took their places. Rob was in the red spot.

-Pat Sajak was hilarious.
-Rob solved the tossup, then another tossup.
-Rob solved a puzzle, then another puzzle, then another.
-Rob won a giftcard (and thus where my journey to Price is Right Live began).

-Rob won the Prize puzzle, a trip to Puerto Vallarta, which would become our honeymoon.

-Rob won $15,450 and went to the bonus round!

-His mom and I were given a chance to wave at the camera (they now do the introductions live).
-Rob said who he was here with: His mom, Cindy, and his girlfriend....
-Yes, Rob left off my name. I still tease him about it to this day.
-The category for the bonus round was "In the Kitchen."
-Rob worked in a restaurant growing up.
-He guessed "Band Grinder" approximately four times.
-The correct answer was "Hand Mixer."
-Other claimed to have known the answer.
-Others weren't standing next to Pat Sajak in a sweat-soaked suit with money on the line.
-The enveloped contained $25k.
-We celebrated our pants off, anyway.
-Rob went to sign some legal papers, while his mom and I watched the next two episodes.
-Production took a break and we left to go celebrate.
-All the contestants got together that night in the Radisson hotel bar to relive one of the most memorable days of their lives.

-We were on Cloud 9.
-We flew home the next day and waited anxiously for Jan. 30th, 2006.
-I decided to host a pizza party at my apartment on Jan. 30th and invite my cousin Jill and her husband, who had been on the show.
-That day came and Rob wore the suit he wore on the show. (He's weird and I never thought anything of it.)
-The show came on. Rob kept doing play-by-play of the show (because he was nervous) and I kept telling him to zip it so everyone could watch.
-This was after VHS but before DVR :(
-The show got over and I went for another slice of pizza.
-Rob said he wanted to show me something in my room.
-I thought it was a sombrero for the Mexico trip.
-I'm not too quick.
-I got in my room and Rob was down on one knee with an engagement ring in his hand.
(pause for tears coming to my eyes)
-My boyfriend asked me to marry him.
(pause for my crying, then and now)
-I said yes (he did just win thousands of dollars)

 A month or so ago, my diamond fell out of that engagement ring and by the miracle of dog, it was found. I went to get the diamond placed back in the ring, and they said it couldn't be done. The band was shot. The bands they showed me were way out of the price range I was looking to spend. The saleswoman was pretty rude about the whole ordeal. No, my ring isn't the most expensive one out there, but it's mine. And it has one hell of a story behind it. That's all that matters to me, the "girlfriend" who got proposed to on the night her boyfriend won Wheel of Fortune. We may not have a fortune to spend on a new ring, but damn if we aren't fortunate to have each other as Valentines.

Happy Love Day, my love!
-the nameless girlfriend ;)

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