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Latunjia Johnson appeared on 'Wheel of Fortune' Tuesday night where she won over $29,000 in cash and prizes. 

And how has your summer vacation gone so far this year?

Probably not as well as Latunjia Johnson's. She is $30,000 richer than she was last week.

The Bakersfield resident won big on the popular game show "Wheel of Fortune," spinning her way to nearly $30,000 in cash and prizes. 

Johnson, 42, a South High graduate and Berkshire Elementary staff member, appeared on the show Tuesday night. 

The game show-loving woman has been a fan of the show since her early teenage years. 

"I just like solving puzzles, I like word puzzles, I like puzzle games." Johnson said. "I'm just a game person."

Johnson almost missed her opportunity to be a contestant because she initially thought the email she received from a representative of the show was spam. 

"I was like 'Is this really real?'," Johnson said. 

But she was sufficiently convinced of its authenticity to drive to Los Angeles to audition. She got the call a week later saying that she had been selected to be a contestant. 

Nerves didn't get in her way as she solved her way through the show. Stressing over how much money she might take home didn't seem important at the time, she said. She simply focused on enjoying her moment in the spotlight.  

"The least amount I (could have) come home with is $1,000 and that's way more than what I came with," Johnson said. "This is a lifetime dream, and that's what I looked forward to ... being part of 'Wheel of Fortune.'"

Johnson was so stress free about the opportunity, she didn't even prepare much for the show. After all, the game is pretty self explanatory, she said. Figure out the missing letters, identify the hidden phrase, win. 

"You just solve the puzzles," Johnson said. 

One area of preparation she wishes she'd addressed was the physical challenge. If she had known how heavy the wheel would be, she said, she would have hit the gym a few times beforehand. 

"You go to spin the wheel and you're not realizing that it's thousands of pounds, and it's so heavy," Johnson said. "That's one thing I could have prepared (for), building up my muscles (for) turning that wheel." 

Another thing she wasn't prepared for that letter "v." Solving out the phrase "A vivid photo" was challenging  because of the unusual letter involved. Johnson, who taped the show March 29, said she still cringes when she thinks about it. 

"There is no way I or anyone else would've called a 'v' as one of the letters," Johnson said. "That's unheard of." 

Unexpected letters aside, Johnson said, the experience was better than anything she could have imaged. 

"It was unbelievable, like you have no words," Johnson said. "I love the show and I love game shows." 

Along with the cash, Johnson won a trip to Jamaica. She plans on taking the trip later on this year with her husband when they celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary in December. 

The show airs on KBAK-TV. For a list of days and times, visit wheeloffortune.com

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