It’s not usually a big deal when someone wins on Wheel of Fortune, because it happens every night. In fact, the only news that should ever be reported about America’s second favorite game show (The Price is Right, FTW) would be if they changed the rules so that people actually had to declare bankruptcy when they landed on bankrupt.
However, I can make an exception to that rule when the person who wins has the same name as me. And I guess if she also does something cool like giving a bunch of money to charity.
It was a dream come true for Ashley Burns.
HAHA SHE HAS A BOY’S NAME! Anyway, you were saying?
Burns taped the show in January. It aired Monday night.
Like a lot of contestants, she chose to have a watch party to celebrate the event.
But she added something special to her party: fundraising.
She had several raffles at the party to raise money for the North Palm Beach Rowing Club, an organization that works with teens. (Via WPBF News)
I’ve reached out to Burns to ask her about big win and if she ever gets tired of people asking her, “Hey, are you that incredibly talented and hilarious blogger?” Also, I hope she doesn’t try to Highlander me. That would suck.
UPDATE: I was able to ask the female Ashley Burns and Wheel of Fortune champion some questions, and now I have to go get my Claymore sword from the pawn shop just in case.
ME: What was it like competing on Wheel of Fortune? Were you nervous? And what were Pat and Vanna like?
Ashley Burns: Competing on Wheel of Fortune was SO MUCH FUN! The only time I really got nervous is when I realized I had overcome that 20,000 lead Dana had on me. I looked over at the scoreboard and though… Oh my goodness I have a chance at winning! Pat is actually a really funny guy. He made us feel really comfortable up there. Also, he has to be able to keep a straight face when people start referring to their cat as their best friend… If some people got nervous, he was great at prompting them with questions to get them talking. Vanna is in fantastic shape! She is so tiny, and probably weighs about 90 lbs. She came in in the morning when we first got there and introduced herself. She was so nice, and beautiful. So if you were to call me the next Vanna White, I would not complain! We can make Ashley Burns a household name!
ME: When did you actually tell people that you won? Did you spill the beans right away or did you wait to surprise everyone?
AB: I told my sister what I won because she works on a cruise ship and would not have the opportunity to watch. I kept it secret from everyone else. Including my mom. Wait… don’t tell my mom I told my sister… She will be so mad!
ME: What inspired you to turn your victory into a charitable effort by raising money for the rowing club?
AB: The North Palm Beach Rowing Club is an incredible group of people who care about the community. They teach high school students (sometimes younger, and sometimes older like me) really important lessons such as the responsibility of taking care of equipment that can in some cases cost upwards of $20,000. Also a crew will only be successful if they all work together, and listen to their coxswain and coach. Rowing teaches you incredible lessons for life. NPBRC is really a community organization that is home to students from 12 different high schools in the area. It fosters camaraderie among people that might not normally have the opportunity to work together.
I personally love rowing so much, and am so thankful for NPBRC for teaching me how to row. It has become a real passion in my own life. Nothing compares to getting out on the intercoastal at 7 am on water like glass and just row. I love going out on the water for fun, or for a race. I also know how expensive a sport it is. This club is a very young club (only 5 years old started with just 2 boats and a few people who love the sport) and they need resources. Maintaining boats is expensive, going to regattas is expensive, and paying a coach is expensive. All of these are necessary to having a rowing club though! We also don’t want to turn away kids who want to learn to row but can’t afford the nominal fee to join the club.
If you want to learn more about the club, join, or donate, please visit npbrc.org to check it out!
ME: Is Wheel of Fortune your favorite game show or would you agree that The Price is Right is the greatest game show of all-time?
AB: Once you take Bob Barker out of the equation… there really is no question. Wheel of Fortune is my favorite game show! Also, I have always wanted to be Vanna White. I started watching the show when I was a baby. Before I could talk, walk or anything else with an alk at the end. I watched with my grandmother a lot! (granted yes… we watched price is right too… but Vanna has such pretty clothes!) I used to dress up as Vanna with my Nana’s clothes, gloves and purses. Admittedly I would also love to “Come on Down!” perhaps play a little plinko… and since I’m now an expert at spinning wheels, I would like to spin that vertical one too.
ME: Do people ever tell you that Ashley is a boy’s name? Because it is no matter what other kids told me when I was growing up.
AB: My dad almost nixed the idea of calling me Ashley because it’s traditionally a boy’s name. So I’ll give you that one for now.
ME: Has anyone ever told you that you have the same name as a super hilarious blogger that they read all the time?
AB: YES! No. Sorry.
ME: I was selected as a standby for The Weakest Link when I was in college. Now that you’ve won on Wheel of Fortune, do you think you’re better than me?
AB: Naturally, because “you are the weakest link, goodbye” Just kidding. All Ashley Burns’ are created equal.
ME: You’re the second Ashley Burns that I’ve met in my lifetime. Are you worried that we may have a Highlander situation on our hands, in that there can be only one?
AB: Worried? No. I would crush you.
ME: Should we perhaps form a superhero team of people named Ashley Burns and travel the world helping others?
AB: Apparently you didn’t get the memo… we already do this. I am the one with the Red Cape, so you have to find a new color. You are welcome to join though. In all seriousness, I do like the idea of partnering up and doing good. You in? We could create quite the buzz.