ALTOONA, Iowa (WHO) – An Oskaloosa man lived out a lifelong dream recently as a contestant on Wheel of Fortune. Not only was he a contestant, but he also won over $86,000 in cash and a prize car.
The show was taped a few weeks back, and Cory Houser had to keep it a secret.
He gathered friends and family at Prairie Meadows on Wednesday night for a big celebration watch party.
“It’s like a 31-year dream come true just an incredible, incredible feeling of absolute bliss, I get to take my wife on a honeymoon,“ said Houser.
He had even dressed as Pat Sajak as a kid for Halloween. “I was obsessed with game shows since I was a kid, I’d watch Wheel of Fortune to help me learn the alphabet,” said Houser.
He said he was asked to dress a certain way to be on the show. “They told me, told us to dress in resort wear, but I brought a red dress shirt and a tie just in case I got on America’s week, which would air in April,” said Houser.
Wheel of Fortune is in Houser’s early memories.
“I remember coming home with my dad at night. My mom was working late, we got McDonald’s, I had a cowboy outfit on and just sat down from the TV and watch Wheel of Fortune,” remembered Houser.
One of the puzzles he solved was “Nice View From the Top.”
Houser said the Wheel organizers said that being on the show would be the fastest 22 minutes of their lives, and he agreed the time on the show flew by.
He said they did have 3-5 minute breaks during commercials, Pat and Vanna would be briefed on the next segment to come.
Houser carried a business card he made as a kid promoting himself as a game show host. He had one of those cards in his pocket and got Pat Sajak to sign it. “He signed it ‘nice job Pat Sajak,’ and he and I had a conversation so that was pretty cool,” said Houser.
As of Wednesday, Houser has 150 days to pick up the red convertible or choose another car from the dealer in Los Angeles.