A Yorktown, New York man proved it pays to study hard.
On Friday, Robert Santoli won $76,000 in cash and prizes on Wheel of Fortune after creating a study guide upon learning of the episode’s theme.
While there have been plenty of big winners in the past, Santoli put on an impressive display in solving puzzles on the game show. In fact, he accurately called out “Port & Starboard” with only an ampersand and the “D” letter appearing on the board.
The episode was taped in January and Santoli told TAPinto.net he studied nautical subjects in advance after being told by Wheel of Fortune producers about the theme of the show.
“The instant I got my theme, I immediately came up with an ever-growing list of puzzles themed towards cruises, sailing, fish, boats—anything on or in the water,” Santoli told the web site.
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When host Pat Sajak revealed the category of “Places” and the contestant got a peek at the board, he had an inkling of the correct answer.
“As soon as I saw that ‘Places’ was the category, I had a hunch and then I saw four blanks, an ampersand and nine blanks, and my face just lit up,” Santoli said. “My reflexes on that buzzer really show throughout the episode.”
Santoli won every puzzle but one, even after Sajak apparently requested during a commercial break he let other contestants “play.”