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‘Wheel of Fortune’ Winner Explains Strategy, Tests Skills Again

By Lauren Moraski
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Contestant Emil de Leon appears on an episode of "Wheel of Fortune" on March, 19, 2014. De Leon stunned the audience and host Pat Sajack by correctly guessing a difficult puzzle. (credit: CBS News/YouTube)

Contestant Emil de Leon appears on an episode of “Wheel of Fortune” on March, 19, 2014. De Leon stunned the audience and host Pat Sajack by correctly guessing a difficult puzzle. (credit: CBS News/YouTube)

(CBS NEWS) – Ellen DeGeneres had a couple of questions for Emil de Leon of Daly and the “Wheel of Fortune” winner, who shocked viewers when he snagged the bonus round by guessing “New Baby Buggy” with only two letters on the board.

First — how did he do it? And could he do it again?

“It’s all in the first letters: R-S-T-L-N-E,” he said. “They showed up, the N and the E. It’s pretty obvious the first word was new. Then worked on baby. It just sounds right, right? ‘New baby?’ The hard part [was 'buggy']. I worked with that B again.”

The correct answer didn’t show up immediately, and de Leon said that lag-time was the “longest three seconds I’ve ever felt.”

It turns out that de Leon, who waltzed away with $63,099 during Wednesday’s episode, has been an avid “Wheel of Fortune” fan ever since he was 3 or 4 years old.

“The first letters that I learned how to say were R-S-T-L-N-E. Those are the prominent letters in ‘Wheel of Fortune,'” he told DeGeneres during a segment airing Friday.

He plays at home all the time and says he gets the answer “99 percent of the time.” “Watching with my family and friends, you can’t do it. Because after five seconds it’s: ‘Emil got it again!'”

So it wasn’t too much of a surprise to hear that de Leon landed a spot on the long-running show after his first audition (“It took me one try”).

He tested his skills once again on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” alongside DeGeneres and guest host, Jason Bateman.

See how he did in the YouTube video at CBSNews.com

© 2014 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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