On Friday evening, Wheel of Fortune featured Mr. Robert Santoli and two other poor contestants who were left in the dust by the Wheel of Fortune super fan. Santoli, who spoke at length about his success with local news site TAP into, started obliterating the competition in the very first round when he solved a puzzle based on only one letter. Santoli then proceeded to solve every puzzle but one and walk away with $76,000, all while enthusiastically cheering for himself.
Santoli was so good at the game that during one break, host Pat Sajak apparently told him, "That was great, Robert, but now we have to let someone else play, OK?” Santoli couldn't really do that. His entire life was leading up to this moment, and the only thing he could do was shine.
23-year-old Santoli, who grew up watching the game show along with others like Jeopardy, initially tried out as a contestant when he was 19. He didn't make the cut, but in the interim years, Santoli perfected his Wheel of Fortune knowledge by doing things like filling out the show's daily Twitter puzzle.
And once he learned that the theme of his episode was nautical, Santoli went into full-on study mode. "I spent the days before our trip compiling a list of possible puzzles and key words themed toward sailing, cruising, water and even fishing," he said. As luck (or fate) would have it, "Port & Starboard" had appeared on the show before, so Santoli knew right away what the answer was when given the same puzzle.
"I felt so bad for the other two players, Bonnie and Noelle," Robert said. "As soon as I solved the Round 1 puzzle for some cash and a $6,009 cruise, I knew they had a lot of catching up to do, so I told them, 'I'm sorry.'" Despite his gentlemanly thoughts, Santoli couldn't help loudly celebrating his success on air.
"I know I look like a bit of a dork on the show," Santoli said, "with my high-pitched ‘Yeahs!’ and my childish jumping up and down after winning the Bonus Round, but I was really, to quote the Round 4 puzzle, ‘Living in the Moment.'" Yeah, this guy definitely watches a lot of Wheel of Fortune.