Iowa Alumni Magazine | June 2008 | People

Fortunate One: Angela Dixon

By Kathryn Howe
Angela Dixon spins TV's famous game show wheel.

In the cold television studio, Angela Dixon practiced spinning the wheel—it was heavier than expected—and called out a few letters to make sure her voice would carry. Anxiously, she waited for her turn to appear on one of America's most beloved game shows.

For years, Dixon had watched Vanna White flip glowing boxes of consonants and vowels. Now, surreal as it was, her own moment had come to win cash and fabulous prizes behind the Wheel of Fortune.

A Houston-based attorney, Dixon, 03JD, recently appeared on the game show, winning $22,700, including a trip to Paris. She could hardly believe it when the lights flashed and host Pat Sajak strode onto the stage to greet her.

"I was so nervous, but everyone who saw the show said I looked calm and cool," recalls Dixon, who auditioned when the "Wheelmobile"—which scours the country for promising players—pulled into Austin last year. Her puzzle-solving prowess impressed producers enough that she earned an invitation to Hollywood.

In preparation, she watched the game show daily, ordered the online version, and practiced, practiced, practiced. On taping day, Dixon chatted with fellow contestants, among them a Marine, a minister, a video game developer, and a teacher—all different in profession but similar in hobby.

Dixon's first spin was good to her: she scored a free turn, the trip to France, and solved the puzzle "Computer Systems Analyst." She decoded two more puzzles, basically earning $19,000 in 15 minutes. She solved "Sister Cities" to advance to the bonus round; unfortunately, that puzzle stumped her. Says Dixon: "When Pat opened the envelope to reveal $100,000, I did feel a little queasy. But I got over that."

When she's not solving puzzles or practicing law, Dixon also volunteers as a big sister with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Houston. No doubt, sharing her love for words.