By BETH TURNER
FAMILY WHEEL: Children and grandchildren watched as Joe and Sara Bohannon made it to the final round on “Wheel of Fortune.” The couple says they’re now waiting to hear what date they get to take their winning trip to Antigua.
Courtesy of the Bohannon Family
The road to compete on Wheel of Fortune turned into a family affair for Tulsa business owners, Joe and Sara Bohannon. After years of playing games and watching game shows, Sara says her grandchildren inspired her to try and become one of the contestants she’s watched over the years. “My granddaughter said I should try it, and I thought she was right, that did need to go on my bucket list.”
After many try-outs and trips, on Feb. 14 Joe and Sara competed on Wheel of Fortune’s Valentine’s Day show.
Joe says it was surprising to learn that the staff and cast of Wheel of Fortune tape five shows for two days twice a month. “So, Pat (Sajak) and Vanna (White) work four days a month. Not a bad job, I figured out.”
Not a bad job by Sara and Joe as well. Their one-hour taping netted the Broken Arrow couple a total of $14,890 and a trip to the Sandals Resort in Antigua, valued at about $5,190.
Bohannon says while they made it to the bonus round, the couple failed to figure out the phrase, “Be quick about it,” ending their chance at an extra $50,000. However, Bohannon says the experience alone was priceless.
“I think the amount we won will just about cover our expenses and taxes,” says Sara. “But it was worth it. I just loved the experience and now my grandkids and great grandkids can see me on our tape of the show.”
Traveling with the Bohannons were their daughter, son and several grandchildren. Back in Tulsa, daughter-in-law Dixie held down the fort at her store, B&B Liquor on 71st and Elm Street in Broken Arrow. Liquor stores work well for Bohannons. Sara owns B & B Warehouse at 7002 S. Mingo in Tulsa while Joe owns B & B Liquor at 91st Street and Delaware Avenue.
All of which, no doubt, Wheel of Fortune executives knew very well. The Bohannons had to provide them with tax information, proof of marriage and sign a seven-page document of show rules and regulations. “I found they’d even done a background check on us when we got to L.A. They really did their homework,” says Joe.
However, executives found a solid background for the Bohannons, who met at Oklahoma State University in 1955, known then as Oklahoma A & M. Both graduated in 1959 and went on to have two children. Their son, Brian, manages each B & B store location.