East Northport resident Jerry Wichern won over $68,000 and two new cars on Wheel of Fortune recently.
On an episode airing Wedneday, Wichern, a retired Brooklyn math teacher who now spends most of his time in Florida, guessed the correct answer to the final puzzle, securing a huge win for him and his family.
He said he will spend the money on taxes paid for the two cars--a honda SUV and a smart car--repairs to his Florida condo, and a vacation for him and his wife of 45 years. The rest, he laughed, he will spend on himself.
A devoted viewer for the past 30 years, Wichern was chosen for the show after trying out on a mobile version of Wheel of Fortune in Florida. He was flown out to California for taping.
During his time rehearsing pre-show, he spoke to Vanna White, who addressed the contestants. "'You're lucky, you're one of the few people who've ever seen me without makeup,'" she said, according to Wichern. "She told us not to be nervous and look for combinations, try to put words together."
Wichern said he already had a strategy for guessing the phrases on the board: Look for one word he can identify then fill out around that one word.
"I play at home almost every night," he said. "In fact, one of my comments to [game show host] Pat Sajak was, "My friend said, 'you're great at home let's see how great you are on the show.'..I showed him," Wichern laughed.