Susie K's Blog Post
Wheel of Fortune experience:
I was raised in a household where game shows were always on TV and Wheel of Fortune was front and center. I remember watching and wondering how fun it would be to be a contestant. Fast forward 30 years, while watching an episode of Wheel of Fortune a commercial came on saying that the Wheelmobile was coming to the area. I knew this was my opportunity to make my dream a reality. So my family and I loaded up and headed over to the Wheelmobile event which was just across the Mississippi River from my house.
As I sat in the audience hoping and praying that my name would be the next name to be called and then at that moment I heard MY name called, immediately I had a rush of adrenaline run through my body, I started screaming, fist pumping and smiling from ear to ear. As soon as I got home I called everyone I knew and told them what had happen and that I would have to wait to hear if I was picked to move on through the audition process. I received an email from Wheel of Fortune informing me that I was selected to attend the next set of auditions, as soon as I read the email adrenaline started to flow through by body again and I started to scream and smiling from ear to ear. After all the rounds of auditions were complete I was told that if I would be selected to be a contestant that I would receive a letter in 2 months saying that I was chosen. This time the waiting was excruciating because there was nothing I could do or say, it was solely based on how I acted/performed though out the audition process. Well, one day after work I came home and in my mailbox was a letter, I could see that the return mailing address said WHEEL OF FORTUNE! I’m sure you can image my reaction to seeing that beautiful envelope, I ripped open the letter and the first sentence said “Congratulations you are selected to be a contestant”! I read the letter 2 or 3 times, then I took a picture of the torn envelope and posted it on Facebook, within minutes I had 340 “Likes” and 157 comments, I was on Cloud 9!! Now I would have to wait for a call from Wheel of Fortune requesting my presence at a designated time and place to tape an episode. I would carry my phone everywhere so I would be ready to answer at any given point. When the time came that I got “the call” I was watching my county parade, as soon as I hung-up I’m fairly certain that my scream was heard over the marching bands and crowds! After I was able to compose myself I started to call/text MY entire phonebook and then immediately posted the news on Facebook, however, due to my phone activity within an hour my battery was completely dead. So, I had to resort to the “old school” method of telling people face to face! When I was finally able to charge my phone, I checked Facebook and I had received 370 “Likes” and 110 comments - the love and support I have received has been overwhelming, everyone has been so happy and excited for me to experience this opportunity.
Now, it was time for me to prepare for the show so I downloaded the Wheel of Fortune app to my iPhone and iPad so no matter where I was I could practice; I played in the morning before work, after work and before I went to bed. When the time finally came my entire family flew out with me and we made the trip a short vacation. The day of the taping was a beautiful sunny Wednesday in Culver City, CA, when I woke up I was super pumped to experience everything; playing the game, meeting Pat, Vanna and the team, the cameras and the audience. I’m of short stature so my brother, John, was able to come with me to the studio so he could be my designated spinner, he was able to be on stage with me but was not allowed to help at all his only role was to be my “muscle”. From the moment we arrived at the studio to the moment we left the studio EVERY single Wheel of Fortune team member was AMAZING, they made my experience even more than what I could imagine. The team members are all very easy to work with and they made me feel so comfortable as if I was about to play Wheel of Fortune in my living room. I send them a huge THANK YOU and a BIG HUG!!
As we were getting a tour of the studio Ms. Vanna White came in to speak to us, she is the definition of class, sincerity and unpretentious. Ms. White took time out of her busy morning to surprise us to wish us luck and to tell us to have just have fun. Meeting Pat Sajak, what can I say about Mr. Sajak, he is quick witted, funny and is definitely doing what he was put on this earth to do. I felt so comfortable on the stage with Mr. Sajak, I was able to forget about the army of cameras, the in studio audience and the millions of home viewers and just have a blast playing America’s game - I will NEVER forget my time on Wheel of Fortune!
My advice to future Wheel of Fortune contestants is to try to just be in the moment. Your day will go by so fast, when you leave the studio you’ll think to yourself “what just happened?” It can be a long day but if you go into the day with a smile and a positive attitude you have the most unbelievable time of your life. YOU ARE ON THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE!!