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"Wheel of Fortune" pays off for law student

April 3, 2009

Plezetta West, a Loyola University New Orleans College of Law student, was a recent winner of "Wheel of Fortune," netting $120,050 for her efforts.

During her birthday weekend in April 2008, West decided to attend tryouts for "Wheel of Fortune" when the “Wheelmobile” stopped in New Orleans. Her name was not called that day, but a few weeks later, she got a belated birthday present - a callback for a second audition.

For two weeks leading up to the audition, West, of Natchez, Miss., practiced nonstop and researched online, asking past contestants for pointers and tips. Her hard work paid off, and she was invited to be on the show in California. The episode with West aired Monday, March 23.

During the show, West endured some ups and downs, but the Wheel was on her side. She correctly solved word puzzles through four rounds, making it all the way to the Bonus Round puzzle, where she won $120,050 by correctly spelling out, ‘Magic Wand.’ In addition to the money, West also won a trip to Central America.

A competitive streak and a little luck are what West credits to her success.

“I am a really competitive person, so I practiced for the show all the time. However, "Wheel of Fortune" requires skill coupled with lots of luck. Practicing helped me to learn word patterns and to notice different nuances of the game, but none of this would have mattered if the WHEEL was not on my side.”

West, a third-year law student, is a member of Loyola's Moot Court and trial advocacy teams, and she credits both with honing the courtroom skills that helped her win at "Wheel of Fortune."

“The competitiveness that is present with being on these teams definitely helped me prepare for the show,” says West. “Patience and focus are key, and that was an important factor in the success I had on 'Wheel of Fortune'.”

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