MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- All this week, Wheel of Fortune is honoring the men and women of our Armed Forces and their spouses.
One military wife, Maryanne Rigor, showed off her skills on the game show in an episode that aired Thursday night.
She grew up in Manhattan and met her husband, Major Andrew Rigor, when he was stationed at Fort Riley.
The couple is now stationed in New Hampshire. Major Rigor is with the Army Reserves, assigned to the Construction Engineer Battalion in Londonderry, New Hampshire.
13 News sat down with Maryanne’s mother, Gail Lortscher, in Manhattan who says her daughter has been a fan of the show her entire life. Maryanne saw on the show's website that they were doing a "Military Spouses" tribute and decided to try out, ultimately making the cut.
"Every night, we watched the Wheel of Fortune together with the children. She was the best at solving all of the problems, all of the puzzles so that was amazing that she ended up going on the show all these years later," Lortscher said.
Maryanne's mom, who traveled to California to watch the taping last month, says it was a one-of-a-kind episode.
"She was such a natural and just had so much fun with it but something that they do on this show is something that they told us has never happened before so it’s a very special show. You’ll want to watch it all the way to the very end even when the credits role so you won’t miss any of it. I can’t think of a better way for them to show a tribute to the military families by doing this. To have it come on and talk about our military and the spouses they are forced to leave behind when they're deployed, it will touch a lot of people," Gail Lortscher told 13 News.
Rigor won $14,000 on the show and a trip to Las Vegas but the ultimate prize was her husband who surprised her live on the set at the end of the episode.
Major Rigor came back to Afghanistan several days before the taping and didn't think he'd be able to make it. His unit's homecoming ceremony was held the same day that Maryanne filmed her episode. Without telling her, Major Rigor flew out to California and the producers hid him back in a green room until the very end of the show for the "big reveal." The couple embraced one another as the credits rolled and the show ended.