Former Rochester resident wins big on game show
ROCHESTER — Competing on Wheel of Fortune gave former Rochester resident Meghan Domagala a chance to meet celebrities, insight into the game show’s process, and $64,000 to pay off her college loans.
Meghan Domagala now lives in New Bedford with her family when she is not at school at Bridgewater State University. But the English and elementary education major, who is also minoring in Latin American studies, lived in Rochester for the first 21 years of her life.
She also won a trip to Costa Rica on the show.
Domagala already liked the show, even before auditioning, because “my Dad loves the show. My grandmom does too,” as she explained.
But, she wasn’t the one who applied online to audition. Her best friend Gina Campanini, did, and when she got called to audition for the show she asked Domagala to come as an assistant and support.
Domagala “thought it was a joke at first,” but the two ended up auditioning together.
“We were actually five minutes late to our audition, but we did well,” said Domagala of the experience, which she described as a much faster version of being on the show.
The two auditioned in the summer, got an acceptance letter three weeks later and filmed the episode on Jan. 18. in Los Angeles.
In between, they practiced using the Wheel of Fortune app, watching the show, and even studying grammar rules and letter patterns.
Domagala and Campanini traveled to Los Angeles to film their episode. Domagala described the day as really long, explaining that the shuttle arrived to pick them up from the hotel at 6 a.m.
“It was 3 or 4 p.m. by the time it was our turn to film, and we were a bit sick from all of the junk food. But once we got going the adrenaline started to kick in,” Domagala said, calling the filming a “crazy, surreal experience.”
Despite the day being long, Domagala was most surprised how smoothly the process went, and said it was extremely clear that the producers knew what they were doing.
Domagala will split the $64,000 winnings with Campanini. She plans to use her funds to pay off her student loans and save the rest of the money to pay for a graduate program in speech language pathology.
The friends plan to take the trip to Costa Rica winter break of next year.
To see Domagala’s episode of the show, search her name and the show’s name on YouTube.