Silver Spring Teacher Wins $1 Million on “Wheel of Fortune”

A Montgomery County middle school teacher won a cool million dollars on "Wheel of Fortune," becoming just the third contestant in the show's history to do so.

Math teacher Sarah Manchester, a Silver Spring resident, won about $1,017,500, as well as a trip to the Dominican Republic, on Wednesday night's episode, WJLA reported.

After hearing about "Wheel of Fortune" tryouts coming to Northern Virginia last fall, Manchester decided to go. Bringing along papers to grade, Manchester took a chance and sat it out.

"I figured if my name wasn't pulled, at least I was getting my work done," she told the Washington Post.

By the luck of the draw, Manchester was chosen to compete, and won a trip to the Dominican Republic after solving the prize puzzle. But then she made it to the bonus round. By that point, she'd forgotten that she had the opportunity to win $1 million, WJLA reported.

That didn’t stand in her way of solving the bonus round puzzle, giving the answer of "Loud Laughter."

"I saw it right away, so I called the letters and was able to solve pretty easily," said Manchester, who teaches at Takoma Middle School and also coaches the school's math team, according to WJLA.

Her correct response allowed her to spin the wheel and get a bonus-round envelope, which revealed that cool million. Her husband, children and father jumped from their front-row seats to celebrate on stage with her as confetti streamed from the ceiling.

The Post reported Manchester's shocked reaction. "I was just stunned," she said. "Even though I knew it was a possibility [in the game], it didn't seem like something that could really happen."

Since the million-dollar-night was taped in May, Manchester, along with her family, had to keep the win a secret. But on Wednesday night, they gathered their loved ones at McGinty's in Silver Spring to watch the show, the Post reported: "Obviously, the crowd exploded when the results were revealed."

So what does she plan to do with the money?

After creating a college savings fund for her children, Raina,14, and Alden, 8, Manchester plans to donate some of the money to charities of her family's choosing, she told the Post.

Contact Us