This Week's Contestant
|Theme:||World's Best Beaches|
Growing up, one of my favorite parts of the week was going to see my Mimi and Papa, where we regularly played a game of Scrabble and watched Wheel of Fortune together. At the time, my Papa and I always played as a team because my vocabulary consisted of only 3-4 letter words and there was no way I could come up with an entire phrase on Wheel of Fortune! Even though I was too young to be any good, I loved spending the time with my grandparents and it sparked my interest in word games; I've continued to watch Wheel of Fortune over the years.
When the Wheelmobile came to Dallas for auditions, I knew I had to give it a shot. I went with a group of my friends and we made a day out of waiting in line with thousands of people hoping to get a spot on the show. We had a great time and remained relaxed because we knew the odds were against us and didn't really expect to be selected. When they drew my name to audition I was in shock! My friends had to tell me that they did, in fact, call my name and push me to get up and go on stage. The actual audition was so quick that I honestly didn't think I had time to even make an impression on the Wheel crew. I went home happy for the opportunity and the fun day but thought that I would never hear from them again. A few weeks later, I was thrilled to receive a letter in the mail inviting me to a final audition! I went to the audition and had a wonderful time. Most of the audition is a blur but I remember that we had to spin an imaginary 1,000-pound wheel as hard as we could. I was having so much fun that I wasn't even embarrassed to be making such a fool out of myself. I made it through the first cut and then a few weeks later received my congratulatory letter in the mail inviting me to be on the show. It was actually happening!!!
My show was set to tape the week before final exams as a graduate student. The good side was that I wouldn't be missing any critical assignments or homework. The bad side was that I would be missing much needed study time. But a chance to win $1,000,000 and meet Pat and Vanna was worth it, right?? I sure hoped so! I brought my parents, my Mimi and my boyfriend along for support. I knew that even if I came home empty-handed, sharing a once in a lifetime experience with my family would make it worthwhile.
I arrived at the studio early in the morning. I was scheduled be on show 5 out of 6 that were taping that day so I prepared myself for a long day. We practiced spinning the wheel, which turned out to be the most stressful part of the show for me! At first spin I could barely even get the Wheel to make a half-turn. They weren't kidding when they said it weighs 1,000 pounds! Because my show was so late in the day, I had plenty of time to get to know the other contestants. I was up against a man who had previously been an alternate on the show, so he already knew the ropes and seemed pretty confident. To make things worse, during our practice earlier that day he made it to the bonus round and won! I knew I was facing tough competition, but the day was so exciting that I didn't even feel nervous.
The time finally arrived. We went to the dressing room for some final makeup touchups, took a deep breath, and headed out to the stage. Check back in to find out what happened!