When it comes to Wheel of Fortune, Emily Johnson is the ‘wheel’ deal.

The Manayunk resident, who is the assistant dean of students at Moore College of Art and Design, won her episode of Wheel of Fortune, which aired on Friday, May 20, during WOF’s “Philadelphia Week.” Johnson, a lifelong fan of the show, won a cool $26,000 and a trip to Aruba. She narrowly missed out on more winnings in the bonus round.

Philly Happening has followed Johnson throughout her WOF journey (click here and here to read previous articles). We caught up with Johnson to find out what it is like to be a game-show winner!


P.H.: How does it feel to be a winner on Wheel of Fortune?

E.J.: It feels amazing! I try not to dwell on the fact that I didn’t solve the bonus round in time, and just focus on how well I did and what I did win. It’s hard though, but overall, what a great experience!

P.H.: Walk us through the winning moments.

E.J.: Well, for the first half of the show, I didn’t win anything, so I was getting a little anxious. Then I caught a break and got to spin during the prize puzzle, and landed on the Express — this means you just keep calling letters and get $1,000 for each one, but if you call one that’s not in the puzzle you get a Bankrupt. I went for it, and was down to just one last word that I could not figure out for the life of me. Luckily my guessing skills were on point that day and I guessed an R to complete the word CRAGGY,  and solve the puzzle GIANT SAND DUNES AND CRAGGY CLIFFS. I won a bunch of cash and a trip to Aruba!

Then I was on a roll!  I got the next toss up (COLLEGE STUDENTS) and solved the next puzzle (BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT). This got me up to over $26,000 in cash and prizes and I got to go to the bonus round. Unfortunately, with the category “person” I ended up guessing COURAGEOUS HUMAN which was incorrect, and I didn’t correctly guess COURAGEOUS WOMAN until a split second after the buzzer. Oh well!


P.H.: What were the reactions of your family and friends when they saw the results on Friday when the show aired?

E.J.: They were all nervous when I wasn’t doing so hot the first half of the show, and then were relieved and cheering for me when things started turning around. They moaned for me after they saw that painful bonus round, but were all super nice and happy for me.

P.H.: Now that you’ve won Wheel of Fortune, what’s next for you?

E.J.: My husband and I are expecting our first child, a baby girl, in October, so this really couldn’t have come at a better time. We will be able to pay off debt, have an amazing nursery ready for her, and then later on take her on her first big trip to Aruba!

P.H.: Will you be returning to compete on the show?

E.J.: Unfortunately no, it’s a one and done deal. A true once in a lifetime experience!




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