Sarah Manchester is only the third person in the show's history to win the million-dollar prize

By People Staff
Updated September 18, 2014 07:50 AM
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Sarah Manchester, a math teacher from Silver Spring, Maryland, became only the third person in Wheel of Fortune history to win the $1 million prize Wednesday night.

Manchester happened to choose the million-dollar jackpot before beginning her 12-letter, two-word puzzle, which was described as a “thing” and turned out to be “loud laughter.” (Manchester’s letter choices of D-G-H-O basically knocked the puzzle out fairly quickly.)

Manchester, on the show as part of “Teacher’s Week,” which kick-started the long-running program’s 32nd season, says she watched Wheel of Fortune with her parents growing up and now competes with her own children, rewarding them with cash for every puzzle they solve before her.

At the end of the show, Sajak asked her if her skills as a math teacher had come into play, and her answer was equal parts pragmatic and philosophical: “I assessed that the probability was low, but even unlikely events sometimes happen.”

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