Hillary Light has had her 15 minutes of fame (technically, 20). The Saratoga Springs native won $100,000 in Wheel of Fortune's bonus round on the Dec. 16 show, the biggest bonus round prize ever.
But even though she knew she was good at solving the word puzzles from her boyfriend's living room, she wasn't sure things would pan out so well on the show.
I watched so many people and nobody was getting the bonus round answers. I always expect the worst and I was ready for it, said Light.
But Light found herself standing beside host Pat Sajak correctly guessing the bonus round phrase and opening up an envelope that held the $100,000 prize.
"I was really excited because that's what I wanted was to get a shot at solving the puzzle. I didn't know what to do because I was so surprised; I was in shock when he opened the envelope," said Light. "It was so weird, and after I noticed they were surprised that I wasn't screaming and stuff when the confetti fell, I felt like I was in a dream. It was weird."
Light had to keep her winnings " a total of $115,570 and a trip to Hawaii " to herself from the Oct. 22 taping until the Dec. 16 airing. She couldn't even tell her own family. The only person who knew was her boyfriend, who accompanied her to the show.
"I had to keep it quiet for two months; that was really difficult. I was telling my parents that I did OK, but I had fun," said Light. "When they saw it ,they were flipping out. They couldn't believe it. They didn't expect that at all."
Light said she has her boyfriend to thank for both getting her hooked on the show and actually appearing on the show.