A “Wheel of Fortune” contestant won fans and a whopping $61,000 on Wednesday’s episode.
Steven Bell spoke about his adopted children in a touching moment before securing the first Bonus Puzzle victory of Pat Sajak’s farewell season.
The soon-to-retire Pat interviewed Steven at the beginning of the Wheel of Fortune episode.
Game show fans are on high alert because no one has won the bonus round since the Season 41 premiere on September 11 – Pat’s last premiere before Ryan Seacrest becomes host.
Luckily the dry spell came to an end and it couldn’t have been more moving.
The Kentucky-based contestant revealed that he is married to his “beautiful” wife of 18 years and that they have six children.
He listed their names one by one on his hand, and then Pat brought up how “fostering and adoption” is a big part of Steven’s life.
He emotionally shared, “Three of our children are adopted both domestically and internationally.
“And my wife and I are just big advocates for making sure we’re doing everything we can to make adoption more affordable for families.”
The crowd applauded as Pat said it was nice to have him here.
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After winning the hearts of fans, Steve also walked away with a whopping $21,450 in winnings, allowing him to advance to the bonus round.
He chose “event” and “HGPOF” as his additional letters, supported by a wildcard that involved the selection of an additional letter.
“Look at that, look at that,” Pat said, while the “O” and “F” especially helped sweet Steven.
It read: “O_T_OOR FEST___L,” so it seemed like a safe bet.
He immediately understood it as an “outdoor festival” and was beside himself.
He ended up receiving an additional $40,000, bringing his total to $61,450, as Vanna White, 66, looked thrilled for him.
“THIS PROFIT WILL HELP YOUR FAMILY”
Fans cheered on
Another geeked out and posted: “Finally a win in the bonus round, the first in three attempts this week and the first in 8 total attempts of the new season.”
A third wrote: “Wow this dough will go a long way and help all his kids…until it’s time for college.” Congratulations buddy!!”
And a fourth: “WHEEL OF FORTUNE’S WIN IN THE 1ST BONUS ROUND OF SEASON 41 AND PAT SAJAK’S LAST SEASON”
A fifth wrote: “It shouldn’t have taken this long. The puzzles in the premiere week were too difficult.”
In the season premiere, Majula was tasked with guessing the “win in overtime,” but she failed.
Last Tuesday, Mark lost a whopping $50,000 because he couldn’t guess “Whirling around.”
One person posted on
“Who the hell is using this last bonus puzzle set?!?” wrote a second.
Last Wednesday, Laryn couldn’t guess “Achieve My Goals” and asked Pat questions about the special round puzzle.
“Alright. Alright. “I’ll do that one day,” she said sarcastically.
When Pat revealed what she had missed – a new VW – Laryn screamed, causing Pat to jump into the air in fright.
On Thursday, the puzzle searched for “A Popular Boutique.”
Unfortunately, the puzzle was “A _ _ _ _ LAR _ _ _ T _ _ _ _ E,” so it looked almost impossible.
Pat was stumped before the timer started: “Well… that’s all I have to say,” he said, bursting into laughter, which made Melissa laugh.
On Friday, Alan lost $40,000 on Baked Candied Yams.
“First week of Season 41 and no bonus round wins…can you believe it!” one person wrote.
“A Sloppy starts a brand new season 41 and says goodbye to Pat,” wrote another.
This week that trend continued, with fans very pleased that someone had finally won the special round, and it couldn’t have been anyone more deserving.
Meanwhile, Vanna had a successful week as she finally got executives to extend her contract on Tuesday after months of salary battles.
Her contract runs through the 2026 season and requires her to appear with Ryan on the popular game show for at least two years.
Accordingly TMZWhite received a “significant raise” with the deal, but the exact figure is not being disclosed.
Vanna – who earns $3 million per season – had reportedly demanded a pay rise from the show’s producers, claiming she had only received bonuses for the past 18 years.
She reportedly contacted a lawyer and demanded half of current host Pat Sajak’s $15 million annual salary.
“After 41 years as an exemplary employee and more than just the face of this show [Pat]“It seems like a no-brainer to ask for 50% of what he makes,” said a source close to White TMZ.
‘I LOVE MY JOB’
Vanna’s message is welcome for fans as she has expressed no interest in retiring like Pat and her contract would expire in 2024 when he retires.
Vanna called the idea of retiring depressing in an interview before Pat’s big news.
“That is depressing. I don’t even want to think about it,” she told People last year.
“It’s incredible. I can’t believe it’s been 40 years. Honestly, I loved every minute of it,” she said.
“After 40 years, who still says they love their job? I!”
Ryan will take over as 76-year-old Pat at the end of the current season after his amazing 40-year stint as host.
Ryan shared on Today on Wednesday, “This is such great news.”
“Vanna has been a staple on this show and in our living rooms for so many years.”
“I was really looking forward to working with her.”