AVON - What are the odds?
Two Avon residents appeared the same week on national TV game shows that air back-to-back locally. And each said their appearance was a dream come true.
Elaine Bliss Guthrie won $63,650 on “Wheel of Fortune” in a segment that aired Oct. 28 on CBS WOIO Channel 19. Talking about the experience recently, the 38-year-old classically trained pianist and singer was still excited about spinning the famous, multi-colored wheel on the word-puzzle program and meeting hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White.
Meanwhile, Beth Pagan, 39, is still talking about appearing with four family members from Lorain on “Family Feud.” She and her family worked through a two-year selection process to be chosen for the long-running game show hosted by comedian Steve Harvey. Although her family did not win any money, Pagan is still laughing about how Harvey ribbed her for 20 minutes about one of her answers. She blurted out “steak” in response to Harvey saying: “Name a food that makes a lot of noise when you eat it.” Her family’s episode aired Oct. 30.
Talking to both contestants is a study in perseverance and a love of game shows.
Guthrie won in the initial round of “Wheel” by filling in the blanks to solve the phrases "Strawberries and whipped cream" and "Gooey fudge brownies."
"It was an incredible, amazing experience," said Guthrie, who grew up in Portland, Oregon, and lived in California before moving to Avon. "I'm a big fan of the show. I've watched it all my life. I love doing word puzzles and always wanted to be on the show. This was an item on my bucket list and now I've done it.”
Guthrie was selected after auditions at MGM Northfield Park. She and her husband, Jason, an accountant, plan to use her winnings to augment the college funds of twin daughters Kendall and Morgan, sophomores at Avon High School. The couple also has two sons, Caleb, 9, and Noah, 5.
"Getting to appear on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ was everything I had hoped it would be and more," Guthrie said. "My only goal was to do my best and be gracious if I lost. I would've been OK with that, too. Getting to be on the show was fantastic."
Pagan, a business teacher at the Polaris Career Center in Middleburg Heights, taught business at North Ridgeville High School for 10 years. She and her family auditioned for “Family Feud” two years ago at the Kalahari Resorts water park in Sandusky.
"We had decided to record and send in a last-minute tape," said Pagan, mother of Andrew, 15, Evan, 13, and Alaina, 10, all of whom attend Avon schools. Her husband, Roe Pagan, coaches the Avon High School girls freshman basketball team.
"I always watch the show at home," she said. "From the couch, I thought I was pretty good, but we knew we were on national television. We were nervous. I froze.
“Even though we didn’t win, I’d do it all over again,” she added. “We had a lot of fun and the family got to do something neat together.”
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