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Horseman wins big on “Wheel”

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- A 823rd RED HORSE Squadron Airman had two reasons to celebrate Wednesday at J.R. Rocker’s.

Capt. Charri Witucki pinned on her newly earned rank and viewed her appearance on Wheel of Fortune with her squadron and family.

She won second place on the show with a total of $12,200.

After auditioning for the show in November 2004 while stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., she was invited back to the second round of auditions with only 99 potential other contestants. 

The contestants had to take a written test of 20 word puzzles that had to be completed in five minutes. Eighty contestants were eliminated in that round. The remaining 20 were told they would be notified within the next 18 months if they would appear on the show.

Captain Witucki, a Fort Walton Beach native, was moving into her new home after being assigned to Hurlburt Field when she got the call from Wheel of Fortune producers telling her should was chosen to appear on their “Salute to the Armed Forces” Week.

“My children always told me I was good and should go on the show,” said Captain Witucki. “When I was younger I had a dream that I was on Wheel of Fortune in my uniform.”

Even while fulfilling a childhood dream, Captain Witucki didn’t forget about her family back at Hurlburt Field.

She dedicated her first spin on the wheel to 823rd RHS, by yelling the squadron chant “To the horse!” as she spun the wheel.

“I was very proud to represent the military,” Captain Witucki said.

Contestants have to wait three months after taping to receive the money they won on the show. Captain Witucki said she plans on spending the money doing some fun things with her family.