YORKTOWN, N.Y. -- Robert Santoli, a Yorktown resident, got to live the dream of every "Wheel of Fortune" fan.
Santoili, a graduate of Soundview Prepartory School in Yorktown and Fordham University, was recently a contestant on the popular game show. His episode airs Friday at 7:30 p.m. on WABC.
Santoli, who had previously auditioned for the show, uploaded a video to the show's website explaining why he should be contestant. He was called back for a private audition where he had to take a written test and show why he'd make a good contestant.
He received a letter in the mail inviting him to come to Los Angeles in January for his taping. For the lifelong "Wheel of Fortune" fan, it was a dream come true.
"My earliest memories are watching the show with my mom," Santoli, who works as an IT Assistant for Soundview, said. "I love it so much. It taught me about letters and numbers, and helped me learn the alphabet."
Santoli, who brought his parents and a friend to the taping, made sure he was prepared. He memorized a list of puzzles that could possibly be used since "Wheel Of Fortune" often repeats puzzles. His episode was sponsored by Carnival Cruises with a spin and sale theme, giving Santoli the chance to win a free Caribbean cruise.
Getting to interact with host Pat Sajack and hostess Vanna White was also a thrill for Santoli.
"Pat is very good at giving people pep-talks," Santoli said. "He has a great sense of humor. "Vanna White is one of the nicest women in show business. Before the show she surprised all of the contestants. Everyone flipped out."
The game show fanatic said he loves "Double Dare," "Press Your Luck", "Price Is Right," and dreams of being a contestant on the upcoming revival of "$100,000 Pyramid."
Santoli is not allowed to disclose how he did on "Wheel of Fortune" until his episode airs though he did admit that spinning the wheel is hard.
"You have to grab it from top or else you can't get the wheel all the way around," Santoli said.
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