HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA —Retired Huntington Beach Fire Chief Patrick McIntosh has a lot to smile about after winning over $117,000 in cash and prizes during his appearance "Wheel of Fortune." Did you miss it? Tune in on Friday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. on ABC7 to watch the episode, delayed on the west coast.
How does a retired firefighter end up on a game show?
During the pandemic, Patrick's youngest daughter submitted a contestant application for Patrick on his behalf over www.WheelofFortune.com. That decision paid off, earning him a trip to St. Croix along with over $17,000 in cash and prizes. Though he was unlucky on the wheel during the game, not getting that $1,000,000 wedge, he did enough to enter the bonus round.
There, he faced three-word blocks of lit rectangles, and his only clue of a "place."
After being given the letters R, S, T, L, N, and E, he selected the letters C, P, D, and O.
Faced with the below image, he had 10 seconds to solve the puzzle.
As the official clock started, Patrick shouted out the words that "Wheel of Fortune" was looking for: "My Favorite Hangout" to the delight of at-home fans, Pat Sajak and Vanna White.
Patrick is the first $100,000 bonus round winner of season 38 and the first bonus winner since season 36, fans shared over social media.
His confidence came from years of watching the show. Patrick put the phrase together quickly, as he has since the 70s. He grew up watching with his mom and now views the show daily with his daughters, figuring out word-puzzles from his sofa at home.
He started his career as a firefighter in 1979 in San Gabriel, then moved to OCFA in 1982, where he stayed until 2010. He retired as Fire Chief from the Huntington Beach Fire Department five years later in 2015.
He says he wants to use his winnings to help his youngest daughter pay for graduate school and assist his oldest daughter in buying her first home.
He spends his time golfing, standup paddleboarding, and walking the trails around his home during his retirement. Patrick plans to spend his 30th wedding anniversary in St. Croix with his wife.
How can you apply to spin the great big wheel at Wheel of Fortune?
Wheel of Fortune fans can submit applications online for a chance to be invited to a virtual audition. There, potential contestants can show off their puzzle-solving skills and potentially be selected to appear as a contestant on the show from the comfort of their own homes. If chosen to be on the show, everyone goes home with a minimum of $1,000.