Talk with Amber Chembars '10

Amber Chembars '10

Amber Chembars '10, of Rochester, N.H., is the sophomore class president - and a proud winner on "Wheel of Fortune." After try-outs last summer, Amber flew out to Los Angeles in the fall to compete on a show. She returned home as the winner of $18,700 and a new Audi A4.

How did the game start out?

The first puzzle was "Food and Drink," and I did really, really bad. It was "German Chocolate Cake," and I don't know what happened, but I said "German Chocolate Cane." I was just a nervous wreck. It was the most embarrassing moment of my life.

How did everyone react to your mistake?

The audience was just, like, "Oooooh." It felt like so long before the host, Pat Sajak said, "No, I'm sorry Amber, that's not it." Later, during the commercial break, he came up to me and said, "You can do fine. Just focus. You'll get through this."

After that, what happened?

A few more puzzles passed before I won the "Around the House" puzzle. I ended up getting $16,000. The answer was "Energy Efficient Appliance." Then I solved another puzzle that put me at $18,700.

When did you know you were the champion for the day?

It hadn't clicked that I was going to the bonus round until Pat thanked the other contestants, and I looked up at the scoreboard and saw that I had the most money. And I was, like, "Oh my God, I'm actually going on. This is insane."

How did you feel when you solved the bonus puzzle?

I was ecstatic. I remember jumping around and giving Pat a hug. I asked him, "Is this for real?" Then my parents ran onto the set and I hugged them, and, basically, we just ran to the car and sat in it and just freaked out for a little while.

What happened during the bonus round?

I was ecstatic. I remember jumping around and giving Pat a hug. I asked him, "Is this for real?" Then my parents ran onto the set and I hugged them, and, basically, we just ran to the car and sat in it and just freaked out for a little while.

Did everyone celebrate with you?

I had to keep it secret for two months! A couple of people were sneaky. They'd ask me how the show went. When it aired in January . a bunch of family friends came over. Once I won, everyone there was freaking out. And my cell phone - I actually had to put it on vibrate because it was ringing off the hook.

What do you plan on doing with your prizes?

With the car, I'll probably end up getting something more reasonable. It is an awesome car though. A lot of the money is going to taxes. Whatever the balance is will probably go right to student loans.

Will we be seeing you on any upcoming game shows?

Being on the "Amazing Race" would be incredible. I've always wanted to do that.

 by Jenn Jimenez '09