Tina Arwood, a seventh-grade Bible class teacher at Grace Christian Academy, cleaned up on "Wheel of Fortune" in an episode that aired Friday on WBIR, Channel 10.
The 44-year-old West Knoxville woman bested two other teachers during the game, winning $21,000 in cash and advancing to the bonus round, where she made quick work of a challenging puzzle that only had a few letters revealed: "Jam-Packed Crowd."
Her bonus-round answer netted Arwood a Ford Edge SUV and additional cash, bringing her total winnings to $56,595.
Arwood got a jump start on the other two contestants, who both also happened to be teachers - Raymond Webber of Martinsburg, W.Va., and Julie Mason of Jensen Beach, Fla. Arwood correctly guessed both of the opening two "tossup" rounds, winning $1,000 and $2,000, respectively, with the answers "The Swiss Alps" and "The Blame Game."
From there, Arwood and Webber alternately won rounds, with the Knoxville woman winning $5,500 for correctly guessing "All Night Long Underwear" (a "before and after" puzzle) and an additional $9,500 by winning the "speed-up round" with "Working Up An Appetite." By virtue of winning the most of the three contestants, Arwood qualified for the solo "bonus round" finale.
Her husband of 23 years, Neal, was in the audience and rushed to the stage to congratulate her at the end of the show. Their four daughters - Allison, Amy, Anna and Avery - did not make the trip.
In an interview earlier this week, Tina Arwood said she and her husband traveled to California in October to film the episode. She said she had qualified during two rounds of auditions in Knoxville earlier in 2012.
Arwood said one of her students made her worry that she might embarrass herself during the show and end up in a "fail" video on the Internet. But she was calm and methodical throughout the show, apparently unrattled even by the difficult last puzzle.