‘It’s pretty surreal’: Knott Co. man shares experience winning on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 6
Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 6:46 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KNOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - On Wednesday, a Knott County man appeared on ‘Wheel of Fortune’, leaving with nearly $60,000 in money and prizes.

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News First at Four

Steven Bell said he always watched the show growing up.

“I can remember as far back sitting on the floor in front of my grandmother’s floor based television set, watching the Wheel of Fortune when I was like 10,” he said.

30 years later, when he was playing with his family, his wife told him to send in an audition tape.

”Well, it got to the point where one day, I was answering all of the questions before anybody else had a chance to in the house. So, my wife almost kinda got mad at me and said, ‘Okay, you’re not allowed to play anymore until you put an audition tape in,’” he explained.

Bell initially sent in the audition tape in February of 2021. He said he forgot about it until he received an email in April of 2023.

In July, only three days in advance, he was asked to come to Los Angeles.

“So, long story short, hop on a plane for LA on Wednesday, film the show on Thursday, come back on a Friday and then wait two months to say anything to anyone,” he said.

Two months later, the episode aired. He said he has been shown a lot of support from people in the Knott County community.

“It’s pretty surreal, the whole experience is pretty surreal, but when you hear all of the support coming the people who have commented, the people who have posted, shared stuff, called, texted, it’s incredible. It makes you very very thankful for the friends, obviously that you have,” he explained.

On the show, Bell was able to talk about a topic that means a lot to him: adoption.

“I’ve actually received texts and messages from people who are in the process of adopting themselves, or talking about ways in which we can network with people to help make adoption more affordable and more successful for people who are going on that journey right now,” he said.

He said he is happy that he got the chance to spread awareness on the topic, being the hands and feet of the Lord.

However, Bell said he is happy to have a new friend.

“I like to say Pat Sajak’s my best friend now but, I’m sure he’s probably forgotten about me at this point,” he said.