Goose Creek Navy Officer on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Wins Big, Donates Locally, and Moves to Hawaii | Charleston scene

A former Goose Creek-based Navy commander who left the base in April for his next assignment beat two opponents to win “Wheel of Fortune.”

Samantha “Sam” Savage’s episode aired on May 6 and revealed that she walked away with a total of $23,500 in cash.

Savage, who frequently watches “Wheel of Fortune” with her mother, said she was finally able to check off an item on the to-do list.

“The experience has been incredibly exciting for me,” Savage told The Post and Courier. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Her episode was taped in February and COVID-19 protocols were still in place. This meant she applied online instead of attending the usual in-person recruitments and had to wear a mask and social distance backstage during the broadcast. Workers cleaned the spinning wheel during every commercial break, she said.

Savage was in the last taping of the day. The show records five consecutive episodes, which means it spent a lot of time in the studio before watching other contestants.

She was also able to speak briefly with hosts Pat Sajak and Myrtle Beach native Vanna White.

“They asked us what our strategy was, and I said mine was ‘if I have money, I buy vowels,'” Savage said. “Pat said it was a good one.”


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Savage played civil engineer Brad Brophy and software sales manager Brandi Crown, and his high resolution of the game was nearly a disaster.

The puzzle was “The Los Angeles Rams are Super Bowl champions,” but Savage almost named the wrong sports team.

“I almost said ‘Rays’ but changed it to ‘Rams’ in time,” she said.

She won $11,500 for that resolution, then took the win with “I had a good run” on the last lap. During her play, she landed on the infamous $10,000 space or bankrupt and risked it for the reward.

Even though she didn’t solve the bonus riddle – “Who would have thought of ‘quality’ as an expression?” she said – Savage had the experience of a lifetime and made a lot of money.


The travel enthusiast who has explored much of the world during her Navy career hoped to win a cruise or vacation on the show, but said she would take the opportunity to pay her bills and make a donation to a Charleston charity for which she had volunteered.

She plans to make an annual donation of her winnings to My Sister’s House, a nonprofit that seeks to eliminate domestic violence in the tri-county area.

His next destination in the Navy is a vacation spot in itself. The commander, who has been in the Navy for 32 years, has just been posted to Pearl Harbor in Oahu, Hawaii.

While living in the Charleston area, Savage and her husband fished extensively and visited numerous South Carolina state parks. She can’t wait to explore nature in Hawaii and introduce her son and two grandsons to their new home.

Savage hopes to retire there after his next three-year contract, but said he will miss Charleston, which was at home for two years.

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Reach Kalyn Oyer at 843-371-4469. Follow her on Twitter @sound_wavves.

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