BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The new year is already turning into one of good fortune for a Biloxi woman. Anquanette Sterling walked away with $16,700 on New Year’s Eve after winning big on Wheel of Fortune.
Surrounded by her husband and two small children, Anquanette gathered around the TV at their Biloxi home Monday to watch the show.
Both Anquanette and her husband Jerrold are active-duty Navy. A first-class petty officer, Anquanette is currently a naval instructor at Keesler Air Force Base.
Dressed in her khaki Navy uniform, the Biloxi resident stood behind the wheel, eager to spin, solve, or buy a vowel. Once her turn came around during the “Before & After” puzzle, she dominated the round, picking up a mystery wild card on her first spin. The wild card was worth $1,000 per letter, earning Anquanette an easy $3,000 when she got three R’s on the board.
Anquanette decided to risk losing that $3,000 to flip over the mystery card, not knowing whether it was a bankrupt or $10,000. Fortunately for the active-duty sailor, it was $10,000. After spinning six more times back-to-back and buying all of the vowels, Anquanette ended the round by solving the puzzle, earning her a total of $15,700 just in that round.
While the money is the icing on the cake, Anquanette said it was all about the experience.
“I can’t even describe it. It was an awesome experience. Just the fact that, number one, that I was even able to audition was fantastic. Then, I got that letter saying, ‘We want you to be a contestant.’ And I was sold. I just knew I had to get on that show somehow, some way. Then they finally notified me and said, ‘Hey, can you come and shoot the show on this particular date?’ And I told my husband, ‘Hey, we got to work it out. I got to get to California somehow.’”
While she has been a lifelong fan of host Pat Sajak, Vanna White, and the show, Anquanette said she was very surprised by how different it was once she got to the studio.
“The set was very small compared to how it looks on TV but they were very down to earth, very nice. The cast and crew were very welcoming. Just the experience from start to finish was fantastic.”
Anquanette said it’s always been a dream of hers to be on a game show.
“Any game show. I love game shows. When I got the chance to do this, I was just like, yes, I have to.”
It’s a dream she can now scratch off her bucket list. And as for all of the money she won, Anquanette says she is planning to pay off some debt with it and stick the rest away for a rainy day.
She’s not the only Coast resident appearing on Wheel of Fortune this week. Mark Kirsch of Long Beach will compete on the popular game show on New Years Day. You can watch that episode on WLOX-ABC at 6:30 p.m.