“Wheel of Fortune” Maingame Winnings Record Broken, Nearly $70,000 Won
To say the least, Home for the Holidays week on Wheel of Fortune has been pretty eventful and yesterday was the exclamation point. Some say records are made to be broken and on Friday’s Wheel, contestant Leanne McLaughlin from Cary, North Carolina did just that. Since 2005, the record for most money won by a contestant in the maingame (the portion of the program before the Bonus Round) has been $66,350. With a string of good luck, risk-taking and good puzzle solving, Leanne broke it by a few thousand dollars, earning $69,300 in less than 20 minutes. Things started off quietly for her, missing the first two Toss-Up puzzles and winning the first round with “only” $4,150. But after this, it was all Leanne, picking up for her in the second round. She elected to turn over the Mystery wedge she landed on, revealing $10,000. She was also lucky enough to select the letter “L,” getting nine of them at $600 apiece, solving with over $20,000 for the round.
With $100 in her bank, she solved the Prize Puzzle, winning a Puerto Rican vacation, followed by a $3,000 Toss-Up win. Round four immediately went into Speed-Up mode, where Pat’s final spin landed on $5,000, making each letter $6,000 each. Leanne found two of each letter every time she selected one, finally solving the puzzle on her third opportunity. The $36,000 she earned made her grand total a new piece of Wheel of Fortune history, at $69,300 – $63,500 of which is totally cash. She could not capitalize in the Bonus Round to earn an extra $30,000, but one might assume she was not exactly hurt by that. Having an impressive showing and putting your name in the Wheel of Fortune record books is certainly not a bad use of 30 minutes. Congratulations to Leanne! Highlights of her path to cash are available below.