• Emily Lavin

Strawberry man takes a spin on ‘Wheel of Fortune’


Strawberry resident Paymon Ghazanfarpour (right) solved a couple of puzzles and walked away with $8,100 in winnings on ‘Wheel of Fortune.’ (Carol Kaelson / Wheel of Fortune, Califon Productions Inc.)

As a kid growing up in Marin, Paymon Ghazanfarpour frequently watched “Wheel of Fortune” with his grandma. “I’m a big fan of the show, and it was a big part of my childhood,” says the Strawberry resident, now 29.


Though he no longer watches as regularly as an adult — like many, he favors streaming services over cable — Ghazanfarpour is a part of the show’s Wheel Watchers Club, whose members receive email updates and chances to win money while playing along from home with contestants.


Over the summer, the club sent out an email looking for possible future contestants who loved Disney and were located relatively near Los Angeles; the show films in L.A. suburb Culver City. “I thought, ‘Might as well give it a go,’” he says.


After sending in his application, an additional video and undergoing a Zoom audition, Ghazanfarpour — much to his surprise — was chosen to be a contestant for an episode, which he taped in October and aired Dec. 13. Though he wasn’t the big winner, he did solve two puzzles and won $8,100 in what he says was a surreal experience.


“I walked away a happy man,” he says. “I have nothing to complain about.”


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