Home Events + News Hoboken Resident Julianne O’Connell Wins Big on Wheel of Fortune

Hoboken Resident Julianne O’Connell Wins Big on Wheel of Fortune

by Arielle Witter
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There’s something about a good game show that keeps us on our toes. One that’s been a fan-favorite for years is good ol’ Wheel of Fortune. For one lucky Hoboken resident, beyond just having the chance to participate in the show, she won it. Julianne O’Connell, a UNICEF USA employee + The Bar Method instructor based out of Hoboken, was a contestant on the Wheel of Fortune episode that aired on Monday, September 23rd and took home $57kK in winnings. Keep reading to find out all about how she won the show, what the experience of being on the show was like, and more. 

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{Photo Credit: @jfel11}

About Julianne

A Hoboken resident for the last six years, Julianne can most likely be recognized from her part-time instructor gig over at The Bar Method Hoboken {catch her on Tuesday nights + early mornings}. When she’s not whipping bodies into shape or winning game shows, however, Julianne works at UNICEF USA. And now, she’s got some time on the small screen as the winner of Wheel of Fortune’s episode this week.

“I work with our celebrity ambassadors and influencers. I help give them the tools so they can educate, advocate and fundraise on behalf of the world’s children,” she explained.

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How Wheel of Fortune Came to Be

Julianne has always been a fan of Wheel of Fortune. Growing up in Warren County, she’s been watching the show for “as long as [she] can remember.”

Her journey as a contestant on the show, however, began in March 2018. She sent over an official video application that month following some extra nudging from her grandmother. “My Grandma actually encouraged me to send in the original no-frills video. I figured I had nothing to lose,” she said.

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Fast forward to June 2018 when she got the news that she was selected to audition for the show.

“Two weeks later I was in a hotel conference room with around 75 other people auditioning for the show, which was super challenging… at least I thought so,” she explained. “Two weeks after that I received a letter saying I was selected as a contestant and that they would contact me anytime within the next 18 months to be on the show. I got the call early July 2019 and filmed my episode on July 26th, 2019.”

As for what the experience itself was like being on the show, “it was a hilarious experience,” Julianne said. ” The show itself flies by and everyone in the studio is so nice and makes you completely forget that there will be a whole bunch of people watching from home.”

Of course, when she actually won, things changed. “[It felt] like I was being punked,” Julianne said. “[I was] absolutely floored.”

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Her Plans for Her Winnings

As a resident of the Mile Square and fan of all of the local businesses it has to offer, there’s one that has a special place in Julianne’s heart — Margherita’s. In fact, she said that she’s excitedly waiting for when they re-open. Julianne’s newfound wealth, however, just might make that dream come to fruition sooner rather later.

“My original plan was to save it all for a rainy day,” Julianne said. “But, since Margherita’s still isn’t open, I’m considering underwriting the rest of their construction so the people of Hoboken can get the penne vodka they all deserve!”

Other Game Shows

Beyond appearing {and winning big} on Wheel of Fortune, this wasn’t her first go at being on a game-show. “I was actually on the Price is Right in 2012 {Editor’s note: whaaat are the odds?!},  so I clearly have a knack for humiliating myself,” Julianne joked. As to whether or not you’ll catch her on TV in the future, stay tuned. “I wouldn’t rule anything out, you never know what can happen!”

Congratulations on your win, Julianne! 

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