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Wheel of Fortune Host Pat Sajak and Buena Vista resident Dirk Kappel during the April 18 show.

Never let it be said that Dirk Kappel isn’t prepared; at least when it comes to game shows. It turns out that preparation is a winning strategy — sort of.

The Buena Vista resident who appeared April 18 on a (pre-taped) Wheel of Fortune episode, actually built a real-size “Wheel of Fortune” wheel in his garage to practice for his appearance on the game show.

Kappel didn’t win the Wheel of Fortune jackpot this week, but he did walk away with nearly $15,000 from the show. While his practice wasn’t enough to win, he apparently was able to keep up with the banter from long-running show host Pat Sajak.

Kappel said that he took the game show preparation seriously. “I probably had too much time on my hands, I built a wheel close to this size and practiced and played games in the garage.”

Not only did he practice how much force and weight was necessary to spin the giant wheel, he apparently created a practice skit where he bought letters, just as the game show requires of its on-air guests. Perhaps the preparation will result in him being invited back to the show?

Kappel is an AMS  (Amazon Web Services) certified development operations engineer by training, so perhaps the design and construction was an easy task for him.

After the show posted an Instagram comment about the preparation, several social media comments came in from viewers who said they did similar preparations — and could now admit it!