'Wheel of Fortune' Million-Dollar Winner Visits 'Good Morning America'

×

Autumn Erhard, the second-ever million-dollar winner on "Wheel of Fortune," visited ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday to discuss her improbable windfall victory.

Erhard, a 30 year-old animal pharmaceutical sales rep from Laguna Niguel, Calif., quickly solved a challenging puzzle in the game show's bonus round while holding the million-dollar wedge, which increases the $100,000 top prize by a factor of 10. When host Pat Sajak, stunned by her performance, revealed that she had, improbably, won $1 million, Erhard said, "It felt like I was in a dream, it was so surreal."

"It felt like I kind of blacked out."

Erhard said she had to keep her "Wheel" success a secret for about three and a half months after the taping, until the show aired last Thursday night. Her upcoming wedding just became significantly easier to plan.

The $1 million prize was added in 2008. The only other player to win it, Michele Lowenstein, did so in October of that year. Lowenstein, a floral designer, kept her job and said she was saving her winnings "for a rainy day ... Don't get me wrong, I did go on a few shopping trips." She added, "The taxes were awful."

Check out DailyFinance's Six Tips on How to Avoid Squandering a Financial Windfall.

Wheel of fortune winner

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Goal Setting

Want to succeed? Then you need goals!

View Course »

How much house can I afford

Home buying 101, evaluating one of your most important financial decisions.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

63 Comments

Filter by:
kysteve66

huh who cares..and its rigged all those were million dollars .the wheel she spin .THEY WERE ALL MILLION DOLLARS..its rigged set up..JUST like ..RSTLNE..get for real..if they want u to solve the puzzle they give you LETTERS duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

June 08 2013 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DR.J. Kibuyaga

Hi who are you?

June 07 2013 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
althea.marti

Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job Ive had. Last Monday I got a new Alfa Romeo from bringing in $7778. I started this 9 months ago and practically straight away started making more than $83 per hour. I work through this link, Mojo50.com

June 04 2013 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
frenchblue367

I love to see people win big on these game shows. And it's too bad that the government has to take such a big bite of the winnings. My neighbor was on 'Sale of the Century' back in the late 60s (remember that show?) and she won a console TV and other prizes. She actually had to tap her savings to pay the tax on the winnings. That sucks. I know winnings are considered an income, and the tax-rate on winnings is higher than regular earnings, but really, how many people save a year's worth of losing lottery tickets or can account for all the money they've lost at the casino for a year... in order to offset some of those tax dollars?

June 04 2013 at 10:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to frenchblue367's comment
EnolaGrey

If you use a casino card when you play, you can ask the casino for a won/lost statement and use the losses to offset your winnings.

June 04 2013 at 1:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jack

all we do is pay taxes but winnings should be free of tax period

June 04 2013 at 6:17 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jack's comment
Nadine

Absolutely!

June 04 2013 at 10:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jack

irs has a nerve to tax winnings

June 04 2013 at 6:16 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
handymansc4u

The Tax's are Really too much, but of course when you have IRS spending 50 Million in 2 years for BS Socilaist work, I guess they have to be

June 04 2013 at 5:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
??

It's despicable how much the government thinks it is entitled to what you earn.

June 04 2013 at 4:02 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ??'s comment
Nadine

Yes....and also despicable as to how they spend it after they take it from us.

June 04 2013 at 10:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Debbie

I watched this live last week and i first was shocked on how fast she solved the puzzle. Then when the $1 million dollars opened up i really fell off the couch.WOW it was awesome and i'm glad i saw it then i put it on DVR so i could watch it over and over. It was great to see someone get something fantastic we need see more happiness like that!

June 04 2013 at 12:44 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Debbie's comment
Judy

Agreed.

June 04 2013 at 3:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sensible

What about the people in the audience? What keeps them quiet?

June 04 2013 at 12:34 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
5 replies to Sensible's comment