WATCH: ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Contestant Wins BMW with Impressive Bonus Round Performance

by Chris Haney

During Thursday night’s Wheel of Fortune bonus round, contestant Alana didn’t get the category she had hoped for, but she made the best of it and then some.

After a solid performance in the regular rounds of Wheel of Fortune, Alana earned the right to move on to the bonus round. Host Pat Sajak revealed the final topics, but Alana’s preferred categories were nowhere in sight.

“No, none of the ones I wanted were there,” Alana told Sajak.

“Oh, I see,” the Wheel of Fortune host responded. “If you had your choice, what would you have picked?”

“Either ‘What Are You Doing?’ or ‘Phrase,'” Alana answered.

“Well, too bad,” Sajak hilariously said as everyone, including Alana, shared a laugh.

Instead, she was stuck with “Living Things” as her category. Vanna White revealed six out of the 18 letters that made up the three-word answer. Alana chose “P, C, D, & A” as her three consonants and one vowel to add to the board. Her four letters added an additional seven to the board, which White turned over. There was only five blank spaces now, and Alana laughed with excitement even before Sajak started the timer.

As the clock began, Alana immediately shouted out ” Playful Giant Pandas!” and started jumping up and down. Pat Sajak turned over her bonus round prize, and Alana hit the jackpot with a brand new BMW X1. In total, Alana had won more than $55,000 on Wheel of Fortune. Not bad considering she didn’t get her preferred topic. As the game show’s Twitter account wrote, “we don’t think she would change a thing.”

‘Wheel of Fortune’ Host Mourns the Loss of Game Show’s Director

While most everything on Wheel of Fortune is lighthearted and fun, the game show and its hosts took a moment earlier this week to share condolences for Dick Carson‘s passing. Carson is a five-time Emmy-winning director of several TV shows, including Wheel of Fortune. In addition, he is the older brother of legendary late night host Johnny Carson.

Dick Carson passed away on Dec. 19 at 92 years old, but his death was not reported until the new year. Earlier this week on Monday, game show host Pat Sajak shared a touching message about his former co-worker.

“So sad to hear of the passing of Dick Carson, who directed [Wheel of Fortune] for 20 years before retiring in 2000. As reserved midwesterners, it took us a while before we decided we and our wives might like to have dinner. We had many. Lesly and I send our love to Karlyn and the family,” Sajak wrote on Twitter.

Carson directed television shows for more than 40 years before his retirement. He served as the director on The Merv Griffin Show, and for his brother’s hit late night show The Tonight Show. Carson also directed more than 3,100 episodes of Wheel of Fortune during his 22 years with the game show before retiring in 1999.