Laura Bennett grew up hoping she’d someday be able to buy a vowel on “Wheel of Fortune.”
Little did she know that she would end up “signing” the vowels — or winning more than $50,000 in cash and prizes.
Coram’s Bennett performed some sign language, then spun the wheel for a big payday on an episode of the game show that aired tonight on WABC-TV.
Bennett, 24, who is working on her master's degree in speech pathology at LIU Post, went to a Brooklyn audition for the show in December and was asked for a fun fact about herself. Bennett responded that she created a “Wheel of Fortune” lesson plan for adult clients.
“My other fun fact was when I went to the bar I could ‘sign’ for my drinks,” Bennett said of her speakeasy downtime while earning an undergrad speech pathology student at SUNY Geneseo. “The bartender was in my program. I would sign, ‘Can I have three beers? Can I have a glass a glass of wine?’”
She signed “a-e-i-o-u” while taping the show at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden on March 15 during the “NYC Week” tapings.
Then she showed expertise at “Wheel” commensurate with someone who grew up watching the game over dinner, as she did with parents Peggy and Bruce Bennett.
She solved the puzzle “Roasted Macadamia Nuts” in the “Prize Round,” winning a trip to Maui for her efforts.
Bennett then qualified for the “Bonus Round” by nabbing $11,400 by coming with “Spectacular Skyscrapers” in the category “Same Letter.”
She was up to the task in the bonus round, winning an additional $30,000 in the category “What Are You Doing?“ by solving “Howling With Laughter” to finish with a grand total of $50,650.
As part of celebrating her win, she planned to watch Monday’s broadcast with family and friends at Hurricanes Bar and Grill Port Jefferson. Most have been kept in the dark about how she did, so she decided to casually pass out some Hawaiian Macadamia nuts to her loved ones just before the TV sets revealed her solving the Maui-trip-winning puzzle.