Raleigh principal wins big on Wheel of Fortune!

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- Wheel of Fortune is appointment television for the Cox family in Raleigh. So when 7-year-old Stella said, "Daddy you have to be on the show," her dad, Chris Cox, went for it.

He took a selfie video with the kids and sent it to the show's producers in Hollywood. Not long after, Chris and his wife, Amanda, were spinning the wheel with Pat Sajak and Vanna White.

The couple was sworn to secrecy about the result of the "couple's episode" they taped in November. But they invited ABC11 to watch the drama play out with their closest friends, family and neighbors at a viewing party at Chow Raleigh restaurant.

The raucous crowd cheered on Amanda, a local pharmacist, and Chris, a Wake County School principal at Raleigh's Stough Elementary.

Chris couldn't wait to shout out his students on the show.

"I'd like to give a shout out to all the Stough Stallions out there," he proudly told Sajak in the on-camera chat with the host at the start of the show.

A big part of this for Chris was about inspiring his students.

"I really want to make sure (my students) understand the value of literacy; knowing your letters, knowing your words and being able to solve puzzles is all fun," he said.

And they solved a bunch of the puzzles!

Chris and Amanda started on a tear-- winning the first two toss-up rounds - then solving the third puzzle as well. But not before spinning a wild card and landing on and solving for a Costa Rican vacation.


"They look as good as they look on TV," Chris said. "You wouldn't know that they might actually be senior-citizen age. No offense Pat and Vanna, we love you guys."

Amanda did all the wheel spinning - she said it's a lot heavier than it looks. They also absorbed all the pre-show advice they could from producers before the cameras started rolling.

"They gave us lots of tips during practice rounds; just use your good judgment, buy lots of vowels because that's more bang for your buck," Amanda said.


"Every man knows, happy wife, happy life," Chris said with a smile. "So you got to make sure she gets to do what she wants on the wheel as well. I don't do the shopping, but I'll shop for vowels."


Chris and Amanda crushed the competition and won a spot in the final round. But that's where their luck finally ran out - unable to solve the puzzle, "Handpicked Avocado."

"I'll never forget 'handpicked avocado,' I don't even like them, but I'll never forget them," Chris deadpanned.

They still walked away with $52,800 in cash and prizes and a once-in-a-lifetime memory.

"It was so much fun to watch with friends and family and see all the reactions," Amanda said. "It was so much fun!"

There's a 120-day waiting period to get their winnings. So, it'll be about 4 months before Chris and Amanda see their winnings. But Chris said Amanda already has her eyes set on re-doing the kitchen.
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