On a cool fall day in early October Tara Tully found herself jumping up and down in her mother’s kitchen. She was practicing.
“My mom and I were joking around in the kitchen, just in case I would win,” Tully said.
Well, on Monday night, the third grade teacher from Ambrose Elementary got to put her practice to good use as she took home $43,000 in cash and prizes after her victory on the Wheel of Fortune.
“It went by so quickly,” Tully said. “It was such a whirlwind, it’s hard to believe it all happened. I was glad I was able to watch it on TV because I didn’t remember everything that happened.”
Tully has watched the Wheel of Fortune since she was a child, sitting alongside her grandparents. And when she began teaching in Winchester, she used the show in her class as a fun way to review spelling.
When she left to film the episode her students made Tully a poster wishing her luck, and every day over the last month they wanted to know how she did.
“It was pretty hard because everybody wanted to know,” Tully said
But keeping it a secret wasn’t that tough.
"You have to sign a disclaimer saying that you would lose your prize if you said anything, so that made it easy to keep it a secret,” she said.
And on Tuesday, when Tully walked into the gym to pick up her students they were well aware of her success.
“When I walked in they were all cheering for me,” Tully said. “The second, third fourth and fifth graders were all giving me a standing ovation. It was cool to be a little school celebrity for the day.”
Tully, who also won a Caribbean cruise on the show, plans on spending the money to help put a down payment on a condo. Her students, well they were excited for a different reason.
“I think I’m going to have to share my candy winnings with my class,” said Tully who also won $1,000 worth of candy. “That’s what they all wanted. I think my cousins may want some of that too.”
To read Tara's blog post about her experience, click here.