This Week's Contestant
|Hometown:||Horn Lake, MS|
From the moment I found out the Wheel Mobile was coming to North Mississippi, I was filled with excitement. Several years ago, my sister, Charity, mother, and I stood in line for hours waiting for a chance to participate in the Wheel event only to be disappointed not to hear our names called to come on stage. Additionally, I had entered my name online with hopes of being a randomly chosen contestant to no avail. To my sweet surprise, the Wheel Mobile revisited North Mississippi this time stopping in Southaven where I grew up. I was ecstatic to say the least and immediately knew that Charity and I would make the short trek to the Civic Center to try our luck once again.
I have grown up watching the Wheel of Fortune and remember the days of spending money won each round shopping for items even down to the $19 Dalmatian statue. I still have the vintage Wheel of Fortune handheld game I received from Santa while in middle school. In addition, I have acquired a Wheel of Fortune CD for the computer and Wii game console. My husband refers to me as "Rainman" because I must always be available to watch the Wheel of Fortune, and my daughter who is now six is growing up with my same habits.
My sister and I made the Wheel Mobile trip for a second time to try our luck in getting our name pulled from the big golden barrel. As we filed through the halls of the Civic Center with our adrenaline pumping, we were eager to get our application filled out and dropped in the box. Our excitement was evident as we waited for the show to begin making sure we posed for pictures with the life-size cutouts of Pat and Vanna. My thoughts remained positive despite the thousands of hopefuls waiting to hear their names called. I sat midway up the stands shouting as loudly as I could, "Wheel Of Fortune!" As the games began and names were called, I only became more intense with each passing round. Finally, I heard...JANIE STAFFORD... !!! My sister and I jumped up and down, yelling, high-fiving everyone around. I ran down the stairs ready to enthrall the crowd and contestant coordinators with my skills at playing the Wheel. I did very well on stage including solving the puzzle for the round I played. I received a Wheel Mobile t-shirt and mini cutout and was delighted at my performance. Next was the anticipation of waiting for the infamous email congratulating me if I made it to the next round.
Two weeks later, I received the email, and I startled my daughter when I screamed after opening it. Immediately, I posted my success on Facebook for all to know and called to confirm my spot for the second audition which was held in Memphis, TN at the Peabody. I prepared just as any avid Wheel Watcher would knowing this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I wore an eye-catching pink dress and made my entrance ready to compete for a very sought after position as a contestant on the Wheel. The audition began by playing a few rounds and only getting one opportunity to shine followed by taking a written test similar to a hangman puzzle. We had 5 minutes to solve about 15 puzzles. I solved 5 or 6 completely and bits and pieces of several others. Nervously waiting, my name was called to stay for the second part of the audition to solve more puzzles, simulate spinning the Wheel, and give a brief introduction. After the audition was over, I was told if I was chosen I would receive a letter in 2 weeks.
Well...my letter came in about 1 week. My husband pulled the envelope out of the mailbox somewhat disappointed because he thought (due to the letters size) it was a thanks, but sorry letter. Upon opening it, excited is a calm way to describe demeanor. Much sooner than I expected, I got the call! I immediately said, YES! to which Gary replied, "Don't you need to check with your work?" Fortunately, I already had that covered.
Tune in Thursday, December 1st to see how I did on my Wheel Alpine Adventure!