To be honest, I was satisfied with the sedan picking me up at the airport, taking to the hotel, to the taping, back to the hotel, and back to the airport. The $11,000 was gravy. I had a driver!
Swankette had prepared me with a drill sergeant’s doggedness for my Pyramid appearance. Once there, it was a matter of getting to know our local news anchor and weatherman, who were the celebrities for a special Seattle edition of Pyramid. The goal was to develop a rapport. The news anchor mentioned she likes hanging out with her kids, the weatherman that he likes golf. Well, that’s something.
When you look at the tape of my Pyramid victory, you can tell that I’m nervous and that I’m concentrating, but you can also tell that I’m having a hell of a good time.
The second time I made the bonus round—with the weather guy—we blitzed right up to the top, getting 5 of the necessary 6 clues for the $10K. But then he gave an illegal clue (“Money from an ATM” is illegal…can’t use a prepositional phrase). Amazingly, the lawyers and rulemakers gave me another shot because they had mistakenly given me credit for two earlier clues (I said “What Nickels would say” instead of Greg Nickels, and I said “Why you’re angry” when the correct answer was “why you’re mad.”) I suspect they simply wanted a winner on the show and wanted to find a legally-solid way to give me another shot. I think of those lawyers huddling on the other side of the studio, next to the crowd. The decision they made has impacted my financial life in the extreme; without that choice to let me replay the round, I may still be renting an apartment.
It’s a bizarre moment, the instant I won. Me, Donny Osmond, and the weatherman, hugging like best friends, all chanting “Cool Shimmy.” Unlike the other key moments, however, this one is on video forever. Check out my face. That’s unbridled joy.
After one wins $11,000, one tips one’s drivers very, very well.