Really, winning was just icing on the cake."Wheel of Fortune" contestant Lisa Scarbrough
RINCON — Despite not taking a single spin, homeless animals were big winners on a recent episode of “Wheel of Fortune.”
Guyton’s Lisa Scarbrough, the founder and director of Coastal Pet Rescue, joined forces with Cat Battos during the show’s Girlfriend Getaways week. They combined to collect more than $70,000 in prizes.
Each won a Mini Cooper. Scarbrough is selling hers to benefit her organization.
“I can’t fit dog crates in a little Mini Cooper,” Scarbrough said. “Running Coastal Pet Rescue, I’ve got to have something bigger than that so it will be sold and the proceeds will be used to buy a new SUV.”
Scarbrough said it was always her intent to use some of her prizes for her pet rescue.
“Really, winning was just icing on the cake,” she said. “The experience of going out there (to Los Angeles to record the show) was great. I’ve watched the show probably since it started.
“I remember watching it back when it came on during the daytime and they would spin a carousel and, instead of getting cash, you had to spend your winnings on appliances and furniture”
Scarbrough and Battos, who bested two other sets of friends to advance to the bonus round on the show that aired Feb. 17, had no trouble solving the final puzzle — “Somewhat awkward.”
“It was a very fun experience,” Scarbrough said. “I don’t know if you can see it but I didn’t realize we were going to the bonus round until (host) Pat (Sajak) walked over to us and congratulated us on getting that last puzzle. He said, ‘OK, I’ll be back in a minute.’
“I looked at my partner and said, ‘Are we going to the bonus round?’ She shook her head ‘yes’ and it didn’t sink into me for a minute that we were going to the bonus round. I don’t think I’ve been so giddy in my life.”
The letters Scarbrough and Battos chose before making their correct bonus-round guess were C, D and A.
“I guess my brain just worked the right way and we had the right letters up there,” Scarbrough said. “As soon as I saw the A’s come up — you can probably see it in the video — I grabbed (Cat) and told her that I knew what the phrase was before they started the buzzer.”
Scarbrough and Battos also won separate getaways to St. Lucia.
“I am definitely taking advantage of that,” Scarbrough said. “I am very much looking forward to it.”
There isn’t a shortage of people eager to travel with Scarbrough to the Eastern Caribbean island.
“I’ve had of volunteers,” she said. “We had a watch party down at my family’s marina on Tybee Island and there were a lot of offers to carry my luggage for me. It was pretty fun.”
Scarbrough’s “Wheel of Fortune” appearance was a year in the making. She and Battos auditioned at Savannah’s Kimpton Brice Hotel in February 2019.
“(The audition) was really an amazing experience,” she said. “It was really fun. I was excited because I won my round and I got a little tote bag.”
Scarbrough and Battos ended up being the only Savannah tandem to make the “Wheel of Fortune” cut. The show they appeared on was taped Jan. 10 in front of a live audience.
As part of their agreement with show officials, they had to remain mum about their impressive showing until after it aired.
“It was very hard to be quiet about it,” Scarbrough said. “For the last month, my nine-year-old son would ask me everyday when I picked him up from school, ‘Can you just tell me (if you won)? Just tell me and I won’t tell anybody else.’
“I would tell him, ‘Yes, baby. You talk to everybody and you would say something, and I’m not telling you.’”