Tammy Mitzel, a Wrightsville resident, won cash and prizes on Wheel of Fortune on Monday.
Tammy Mitzel, a Wrightsville resident, won cash and prizes on Wheel of Fortune on Monday. (Submitted)

Tammy Mitzel has had a secret since November.

One that she has been dying to tell. But trust her, it wasn't worth telling.

When you win $81,967 in cash and prizes on the game show "Wheel of Fortune" and the producers swear you to secrecy until the show airs ... yeah, you keep quiet.

"There's motivation there. If you tell somebody and it becomes public, then you do not get the money," said Mitzel, a Wrightsville resident.

Mitzel, 43, dominated on an episode filmed Nov. 15 but which aired Monday, Feb. 25.

"How do I keep it a secret? Well, I don't trust anyone with $82,000 worth of information," the mother of three said with a laugh.

Mitzel, whose family runs Mitzel's Tree Service, said she's always loved the show, and she and her son auditioned last year when the "Wheelmobile," the traveling audition bus, came to Wilkes-Barre.

"I've always been good with words," said Mitzel, a crossword lover. "It's my one talent."

She took home a trip to San Diego and a trip to St. Martin plus about $72,000 in cash overall after her spins on the wheel.

In the final round, the show automatically provides R, S,T, L, N and E. Mitzel added C, A, M, and D, despite her son's longtime belief that Wheel contestants should go with C, A, M, and P.

Her puzzle, with the category "Thing": TR_C_ _LA_

Solved the puzzle?

Her son was right - a "P" instead of "D" would have helped, but fortunately Mitzel correctly guessed "Trick Play."

It was a $45,000 right guess.

As for legendary host Pat Sajak and letter-turner Vanna White?

They couldn't be nicer.

"She looks so good in person!" Mitzel said.

- Reach Andrew Shaw at ashaw@yorkdispatch.com