So I got a chance of a lifetime to go on Wheel of Fortune... and I walked away with $1,000. But what I got that doesn't have a cash value is an experience that still feels like a dream.
When the Wheelmobile came to Saratoga earlier this year, I was determined! I had been to two previous Wheelmobile events, one in Syracuse and on in Burlington. My name was never called. But, to my surprise, on day one in Saratoga I was called. And the surprises kept coming.
When I received an email from the show's producers saying I had been selected for a final audition, I was shocked and of course, accepted. The final audition was hours long and hard! There were rounds after rounds of playing the game. Then there was a test and that test was hard! I thought for sure after that test that I was done. After a short break to "grade" our tests, the producers came back and called the names of the people who were continuing on with the audition. I was the very last name called.
The audition continued for me and about 20 other people. We played more games and spun an "air" wheel so that the producers could get a visual on how we'd look on TV. When we were finished, they told us we would hear from them in 2 weeks if we made the show. I got my letter in 3 weeks. I was in utter shock, not only because the 2 weeks had past, but also because I couldn't believe that I was selected for the show.
Fast forward to November when I went out to film my episode. I was at the studio for 9.5 hours and I was busy the entire time. We practiced spinning the wheel, practiced our introductions and filmed our "Hometown Howdies" - a commercial that the local stations air to promote a local being on the show.
The entire show is taped just how you see it on TV. During the commercial breaks, we are prepping with the producers and getting a pep talk. However, I was surprised to see that some of the rounds were edited. During the crossword round, I spun probably another 5 bankrupts and collectively, we went through just about the entire alphabet. It wasn't until Stephanie called the "a" that we were all able to figure it out. Who says "below par" anyway?!
All in all, it was a great experience. Though it would have been great to win a million bucks, or even $5,000, it's something that only a handful of people get to do. And hey, maybe they'll do a best of the worst episode where they bring back a bunch of people that were beat by the wheel because I have to have broken a record for the amount of bankrupts spun.