Natchez native wins thousands on Wheel of Fortune

Published 12:09 am Tuesday, March 24, 2009

NATCHEZ — Plezetta West’s magic wand conjured up $120,050 on Wheel of Fortune Monday night.

But it wasn’t magic at all, West will tell you. It was luck and God’s blessing.

The Natchez native has been a life-long Wheel of Fortune fan who practiced for her TV appearance, but picking the envelope containing $100,000 and solving the bonus puzzle wasn’t a skill.

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After Vanna White revealed the standard letters — r s t l n e — and West chose her letters — d c g i — the answer was obvious, West said.

“All my letters were there and I knew it,” she said. “It said blank, blank, g, i, c, blank, blank, n, d. I started smiling.”

After she solved the puzzle — Magic Wand — host Pat Sajak opened the envelope previously chosen by West to reveal $100,000.

“They thought I was going to pass out,” West said.

West also won a trip to Central America.

The total value of her winnings is among the show’s highest.

“It was a combination of luck and God,” West said. “I was in the right place at the right time.”

West, who hasn’t yet received her prize money, said she’ll try to put some thought into spending it while she waits.

“I tend to be a very impulsive person,” she said. “But I have student loans for college and law school. And I might make a down payment on a house.”

West, a 2001 Natchez High graduate, is the daughter of Plez West Sr. and Josie Gilchrist Camper of Natchez. She is the niece of former mayor Phillip West.

She is currently a law school student at Loyola University in New Orleans.