This Week's Contestant
POSTED on Monday, October 15th, 2012
My Wheel of Fortune experience began on April 22, 2012. Our local NBC affiliate, WSAZ, announced that the Wheelmobile would be coming to our area for open auditions. I have been a Wheel fan forever and I always do well at home, so my husband Joe suggested that I try out. It was a cold and gloomy Sunday as I stood among hundreds of other hopefuls, waiting to hear my name. The first two rounds came and went. Only one more chance, and then I would have to come back the next day and try again. We sat down in a seating area outside the tent. I was cold, tired, and disappointed. Name after name was called, none of them mine. Finally, I heard my name! I ran screaming through the crowd and up to the stage. I had my picture taken and joined my group of four others. We each told a little about ourselves, then we played the game. I solved the puzzle and received my bag of goodies! I had actually made it!
We were told that if we were chosen as a potential contestant, we would receive an email in a few weeks. Guess who got that email? I was so excited! I had a second audition on June 13, my daughter Cathys birthday, so I knew that was good luck. I auditioned with about 100 other people that day. After playing a round of games and taking a written test, I was on the short list of people asked to stay for a final round of play. Again, we were told that we would be notified, this time by mail, if we had made the cut. The wait would only be two weeks this time, but they were the longest two weeks ever!
June 27, the two week deadline, came and went and I received no letter. I was so sad! On June 29, our area was wracked by terrible storms. Millions of people were without electricity, including us. On Sunday, my best friend Maida called to tell us that their electricity had come back on and invited us over. As we all sat around talking, she handed me a letter, asking if I could explain to her what it meant. It was addressed to me, with a Wheel of Fortune return address. Could it be? With shaky hands, I ripped the letter open. The first line read, Congratulations! You have been chosen as a contestant! My practical joker husband had intercepted my letter and planned a surprise party!
On July 11, I received a call from the contestant coordinator to schedule my appearance for the July 26 taping. Joe and I have for years talked about driving to the west coast. Now was our chance! With just over a week to plan, we rented a car and headed west. We left our home in Sandyville, West Virginia on Friday morning. We drove through West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Nevada (where we spent a few hours and lost $30 in Las Vegas) Arizona, Utah and finally arrived in California late Monday night. On Tuesday, we went to Venice Beach. I finally got to dip my toes into the Pacific Ocean! And believe me, the water was so cold that the toes were enough! On Wednesday, we went to Hollywood. We strolled The Walk of Fame and took a gazillion pictures. I was so tired I didnt have any trouble going to sleep early. I drifted off with visions of Pat and Vanna and a million dollars dancing above my head!
Watch me spin on Wednesday, October 17th!