‘Wheel of Fortune’ Contestant Speaks Out on How She Paid ‘Tribute’ to Her Mom on Show

by Matthew Wilson

One “Wheel of Fortune” contestant was spinning for more than just herself and the chance to walk away with some of the show’s prize money. For one New York native, the spirit of her late mother and everything she taught her was also at the wheel.

For Shari Wilson, this Mother’s Day will be as sad as her “Wheel of Fortune” debut was special. It will be the first time celebrating the holiday since her mother passed away. Her mother’s passing has weighed greatly on her mind. But appearing on the game show has lifted her spirits.

Wilson was one of the contestants to appear on the show during “Wheel of Fortune” Mother’s Day week. She decided to dedicate her performance to her dear ol’ mom.

“Six hundred people or so are selected to appear on the actual show. So you talk about that it’s less than one percent chance, it’s amazing,” Wilson told Albany News10. “What a great time for me to tribute this to my mom. Who would of ever knew or thought that this all would come to play as it did.”

‘Wheel of Fortune’ Celebrates Mothers

For 30 years, Shani Wilson and her mother Willie B. Quinn watched “Wheel of Fortune” together. It became habitual ritual, unfortunately severed by her mother’s death. Quinn passed away from dementia last month, just shy of her 75th birthday.

“I don’t recall her really missing an episode. The show was one of her favorites, and it’s a memory I will always keep and cherish,” she said.

Shani carried her mother’s love for the show into her own episode. Wilson is a mother herself, in addition to being an author and international student recruiter. She hoped her mother’s spirit would look out for her during the game.

Ultimately, Wilson didn’t make it to the bonus round during her episode. But she walked away with a few nice prizes. Besides, she found actually being on the show to be much more difficult than watching from home.

“I didn’t make it to the bonus round, but I did walk away with nice cash prizes and a beautiful trip to my dream place Hawaii. I plan on using it for my honeymoon,” she said.

Wilson believes that her mother was with her during the episode and would be proud of her.

On the night the episode aired, Wilson said, “I know she is here with me in spirit and cheering me on tonight as we watch.”