Autumn Erhard became the second contestant in Wheel of Fortune history to take home $1 million Thursday night. The 30-year-old woman from Laguna Nigel, Calif. managed to solve the final bonus puzzle in less than a second, guessing the phrase “tough workout” with just four letters revealed in advance.
Erhard, who is engaged, said she was planning to use at least some of her winnings to cover the cost of her wedding. She had also won over $30,000 in prizes before the final round, bringing her total winnings to $1,030,340.
“No one could believe it! [My loved ones] were just off stage and couldn’t see what my prize was. They were celebrating the fact that I solved the puzzle,” she told ABC. “They kept asking me how much I won, and I had to keep repeating it because no one believed me at first.”
By all accords, it’s not easy to win the jackpot. According to Fox News:
The $1 million dollar wedge was added to the large wheel in 2008, but in order to have a shot at the million, a contestant must first land on the wedge, then collect it and not “go bankrupt” at all before the bonus round. Ernhard managed to do so, and as she headed into the bonus round, her $1 million wedge was added to the grand prize wheel in place of the $100,000 slot. Then she had to land on it and spin solve the puzzle in just 10 seconds.
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Michelle Loewenstein was the first contestant to be awarded $1 million back in 2008. Erhard is the second winner to rake in the prize since the beginning of the show’s conception.