This Week's Contestant
When I received a mass e-mail stating they were looking for contestants in the Boston area, I told myself "It's a long shot, but I'm totally going for it!" I just couldn't let this opportunity slip away.
I've been watching Wheel of Fortune since I was a young kid back in Miami, FL. If someone could appreciate being on Wheel, it was me. Just earlier in the year, my husband suffered and recovered from a brain hemorrhage at only 34 years of age. I learned the hard way that you can never predict life, but it's completely up to me to make my life an exciting experience. This e-mail to try out for Wheel of Fortune meant more to me than most can comprehend.
I submitted my video with only two hours left before the deadline. The very next morning, I got an e-mail inviting me to the Wheel of Fortune final audition at the Lenox Hotel in Boston in one week. I couldn't believe it. This was it! I made it to the final audition!
At this point, I didn't really think I was going to make the show, but I didn't want to have any regrets. I decided to treat the audition just like a job interview. I studied every night before the audition. My husband even created a computer program for me so I could study hundreds of puzzles within a matter of minutes. I went to the audition very prepared to play the game and to hopefully show that I should be chosen for the show.
I walked into the audition with a strange mix of total excitement and complete nervousness. We were immediately greeted by the Wheel contestant coordinators and handed a pencil that said, "I tried out for Wheel of Fortune." After what I've been through, I was totally excited to have a souvenir representing this once in a lifetime experience.
We then took a series of tests to determine who would make it on the show. The first round consisted of calling out letters and trying to solve puzzles. Everyone would get a turn. I called out about 3 or 4 letters and solved a puzzle. In turn, I won a Wheel of Fortune tote. I was so excited to have another souvenir representing my experience. After all, I still didn't really think I was going to make the show.
The second round consisted of a 5 minute written test of 16 fill in the blank type puzzles. The test was very difficult as they revealed only a few letters in the puzzles. After the test, I quickly realized that, although I only solved a fraction of the questions, I seemed to do well in comparison to the other hopeful contestants I spoke to.
After the first two rounds of tests, about 60 to 75% of the prospective contestants were dismissed. When I heard that I was selected to go to the final round, I screamed with excitement. We were then asked to solve puzzles in groups of 6 in front of the room. I solved another puzzle and my Wheel of Fortune audition was quickly over.
I left thinking I did well in all the rounds, but I was completely realistic that the odds were still against me. There were a lot of good contestants. It was very possible that they just weren't looking for someone like me.
In exactly one week, I got the call that I made the show while I was at work. I just couldn't believe it. I MADE IT!!! It didn't seem real. I immediately called my family with the great news. My husband and parents were unbelievably excited. My brother questioned my story a few times to make sure he didn't hear me wrong. When I told people at work, several people asked if I made the REAL Wheel of Fortune with Vanna and Pat. Honestly, the whole thing was hard for me to believe as well.
That night, my husband and I went out to dinner and we were almost in tears. We just couldn't stop smiling. In just 3 weeks, we were on our way to HOLLYWOOD! Watch me spin on Friday, January 13th!