Pamela Hilker of Ray County never thought watching the Wheel of Fortune would turn into her good fortune but it did yesterday.
Hilker received her prize in the mail of $5,000 yesterday after having a winning number last month.
The show began giving away $5,000 each night to at home viewers as a celebration of the show’s 5,000th episode last November.
Viewers log onto a Web site where they are assigned a SPIN number.
If the contestant’s SPIN number pops up, the contestant logs onto the Web site for instructions.
Hilker said when the number appeared on her TV she had to look away and take a second look and was lost for words.
“All I could do was point at (the SPIN number) because I knew it was my number,” Hilker said.
She said her husband even said something to her but all she could do was point.
“There was another time I thought it was my number but it wasn’t,” she said. “I thought it was a waste of time because no one ever wins those things. Now I know they do.”
The prize could not have come at a better time for Hilker. Hilker, who is self-employed, recently lost a big contract and had taken a financial hit.
“It just really came at a good time,” she said. “I was very excited that I won.”
Hilker said her husband is still a skeptic and would not call it an official winning until the check arrived in the mail.
“My husband kept saying, ‘you didn’t win’’’ she said. “It won’t be real until I get a check.”
It became real yesterday when the check arrived.
Hilker said at first she started to believe her husband. She said the instructions told her someone from Sony Television, the owner of the rights to Wheel of Fortune, would call her.
She said she waited all weekend and then finally on Monday afternoon she got the call.
Hilker said she plans on donating 10 percent of her winnings to her church and will spend some of the money on a vacation to northern Nevada to see a daughter.