When Patrick Coughlin tried his hand at the Wheel of Fortune, he had to leave his pirate attire at home.
“There was a dress code, but I did keep my pirate ‘stashe,” he said, referring to his chin-length mustache.
Coughlin, the owner of the cruise experience Pirates of Hilton Head Island, was a contestant on Wheel of Fortune in Culver City, California, last month. In his day job, Coughlin keeps cruises running for families as they search for buried treasure and shoot fellow pirates with water cannons from a pirate-style ship.
He didn’t get to choose his episode’s air date, but shortly after filming, Coughlin and his “better half,” Monika, found out it would be broadcast at 7 p.m. Sept. 19 on WSAV.
Monika perked up. The date registered with her immediately: It’s International Talk like a Pirate Day (yes, that’s real).
“It was truly random. Not only do (the producers) pick what show you’re going to be on at random, but when it’s going to air,” he said.
Coughlin said he couldn’t tell The Island Packet what the outcome of his run on the show was, but said it was a “wonderful experience.”
He ended up on the show after he and Monika tried out in summer 2018 at the Oglethorpe Mall in Savannah. After two mini-show successes and rounds of word puzzles, Coughlin said he was chosen for the real-deal wheel.
“I couldn’t remember anything the moment after I was done,” Coughlin said, recalling his nervousness. “I had tunnel vision.”
But the Wheel of Fortune staff are prepared for that, he said.
“The whole staff were super professional and ... they did everything to get you excited and get your mind off of being nervous,” Coughlin said.
The pirates will hold a watch party for the episode at Lucky Rooster on Hilton Head on Sept. 19.
Asked his favorite letter after his run at the wheel, Coughlin said, “R... I am a pirate after all.”