Wheel of Fortune kicked off “Teacher’s Week” this week, and on Wednesday evening Mount Vernon High School English teacher Auja Jones made her hometown Majors proud with a big win.
Competing against teachers from schools in Nebraska and Massachusetts, Jones — who told host Pat Sajak about her passions for poetry writing and softball playing and coaching — won her first $1,000 by successfully guessing “STAPLER AND STAPLE REMOVER.” During the “Prize Puzzle,” she bounced back from bankruptcy to solve “GLORIOUS SUNRISES,” raking in an additional $4,000 and a trip to Jamaica worth $8,108.
As her mother, niece and grandparents looked on from the studio audience, the beaming Jones advanced to the bonus round, opting for the “thing” category. Despite only having a handful of letters to work with, she managed to talk out the answer — “BULKY PACKAGE” — wowing Sajak and showering Jones with an additional $36,000 for a grand total of $49,108 in winnings.
Sajak was so impressed by the teacher’s technique that he discussed it with hostess Vanna White at the end of the show.
“That was a textbook way to play the bonus round,” he said. “To listen to what you’re saying … sometimes people just say words, and it’s not registering, but she got the ‘baggage’; she played with that a little bit, and it worked out very nicely.”
Watch the show in its entirety, without commercials, here.