This Week's Contestant
|Theme:||Wheel Salutes Our Military|
POSTED on Monday, December 2nd, 2013
Hello! I’m Ruby P., from Seaside, CA and I’m honored to share my Wheel of Fortune adventure with you! The WOF has been a family tradition for over twenty plus years. My mom and I challenged each other every time we played the wheel together. When watching the show I would practically yell at the contestant on how to play the game. The tradition of playing the Wheel continues on with my youngest daughter and son-in-law. We had to break the rules down for my son-in-law not to yell out the answer! Needless to say our serious Wheel playing stressed him out, he no longer plays but is an avid cheerleader for his wife on the sideline. During my thirteen plus years in the military, anyone in my former unit, my church, the gym, and close friends know I have always declared “I’m going on The Wheel of Fortune; I’ve had my Spin Id for over 8 years although it’s never been picked and I check my Spin ID at least once a month. Watching the Wheel for so many years, I realized anyone can have an opportunity to play and I could only get two answers a yes or a no.
The commercial came on Fox 68 news in Syracuse NY about the Wheel mobile coming to Driver’s Village. I jumped off my couch and just screamed “Oh my god! I wrote down the time and place and called my best friend. I was speaking so fast she couldn’t understand me, and I said real slowly “The Wheel of Fortune is coming here and I’m going, I’m going! My friend said “ok Ruby, yeahhhh, wow you’ve been talking about getting on the show since forever”. I said “I know, and I’ve been playing on my iPad for months”. I informed my co-workers, church members and my neighbors of the Wheel Mobile coming to Drivers Village and anyone could apply.
I arrived at the Saturday audition 2 hours early because I expected long lines and crowds of people. The sight of the Wheel Mobile gave me goose bumps, and I was practically running to get inside the building and apply for the show. I was given an application to fill out for the first of 3 shows. The stage was set; it looked like the real show. The host of the show was so energetic, funny, and honest about the auditioning process. He emphasized that the auditioning starts once you actually hit the stage, and nobody from the audience is allowed to yell out letters. I watched name after name being called through 2 shows, and during the third show my name was called. As I ran through the crowd to the stage, people were giving me a high five, and yelling whoo hooo! Each applicant picked was asked to introduce themselves and to describe their hobbies. I said besides playing the Wheel, and movies, I sing a lot for my unit and in my community. The hosts asked for 30 seconds of something and I sang the last part of The Star Spangled Banner. The hosts, the crowd and the letter turner (I’ll call her the traveling Vanna White) Tracy went crazy! The hosts said “now that’s how you sing the National Anthem”. We then played a round of the Wheel until someone solved the puzzle. I didn’t solve the puzzle which was ‘Profits are Up ‘, but was given a beautiful 8 X 10 photo of Vanna and Pat as a consolation prize and a (great conversation piece that sits on my desk) for making it to the stage. Everyone who made it to stage was given cool prizes. The hosts informed us that only the applicants receiving an email would move on to the second audition, and if you’re not selected, you could reapply in 1 year. They also take all the cards not selected, back to Los Angeles and randomly pick more names to be on the show.
In August, while returning from a military mission, I hadn’t checked emails that day and when I did the letters jumped off the page “WOF Second Audition. I quickly opened it up and started screaming “I did it, I did it, and I did it! I scanned through the email and began reading it out loud. Everyone in the van was screaming and congratulating me. It felt like I called everyone in my family to share the good news, and my son-in-law put the news on Face book. I then called the number in the email to confirm my attending the next step. The second audition at the Hotel Genesee in Syracuse had about 60 people. Gary, Jackie, Shannon, and Alexandra the contestant crew checked off our names and thoroughly explained the next audition process. After the preliminaries, we played several more games and took a short quiz of puzzles. After the test was graded, the crew announced who would be moving on, and thanked those not selected for applying. When they called my name I jumped up and did my Wheel dance. We that remained played more rounds of the Wheel and pretended to spin the Wheel as the crew observed our tone of voice and energy level. The ladies on the contestant crew were like coaches encouraging you to smile, and speak up and allowed plenty of practice time playing the game. The second audition lasted about 2.5 hours and you were notified by mail if selected as a contestant. I left the final audition feeling confident and anticipating my letter in the mail. I received my letter 9 days later! I took a picture of the congratulations part and posted on my Face book page with a title “I DID IT! I was previously confirmed to go to my family reunion, but I cancelled feeling I would get the call to attend the show. Some of my family thought I was jumping the gun for cancelling the reunion without being confirmed for the show, but I had a gut feeling and I wasn’t taking any chances on missing it.
On 13 September, I left my cell phone at the beauty salon, and when I retrieved it, I noticed a missed call from an unfamiliar area code. I called the number and a deep baritone voice spoke saying “hello Ruby, this is Gary, how does the date sound for you? I said “the what, who is this please”? He said this is “Gary from the Wheel of Fortune”. I said “are you kidding me”? Gary said “no I’m serious isn’t this great? And I want to offer you a spot on the Wheel of Fortune for our Salute to Military Week.” I put him on speaker phone and asked him to repeat himself. He repeated himself and I said Yes, Yes, Yes while doing my Wheel of Fortune dance. I and the ladies in the shop erupted with excitement, and Gary chuckled as well. He told me to expect my packet in the mail with further instructions. That was one of the best days of my life. The declaration I had spoken so many times before was finally coming into fruition. I was going to be a contestant on the Wheel of Fortune! I was going to meet Pat and Vanna after twenty plus years playing along with them on television and with my iPad. After receiving my packet in the mail, I immediately made my plane and hotel reservations and decided to take my vacation in California to spend time with family. After that it was count down until the show.
Watch me spin on Wednesday, December 4th!