Brian S's Blog Post
A wise person once said persistence pays. Another said never give up on your dreams. No matter how many curve balls life throws at you, no dream is impossible. I kept these sayings in the back of my mind as I journeyed to my dream of spinning the Wheel of Fortune.
The Journey began during the show’s first season in 1984. I was mesmerized by the spinning wheel and colorful set. I said to my young self “one of these days, I’m going to spin that wheel. Spin ahead to 1990 and my parents told me my cousin Ellen was going to be on two episodes of Wheel of Fortune. This was back when you could be on for three days. Now I thought “wow, a member of my own family made it on the show”. This made my ambition stronger than ever. Finally, we spin to 2015. After not making it on stage at the Wheelmobile Event in Atlantic City I receive an email that said Wheel of Fortune Audition. I was invited to what would be my 3rd final audition in a 7-year span. Three weeks later I received the acceptance letter and felt elated that I’m finally going to get to spin the wheel.
All that was left was to wait for a tape date. So I waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, in January 2018, over two years since getting the letter I received an email with the heading Wheel of Fortune Taping on Friday February 9, 2018. The long wait was finally over and I was flying to Culver City to live the dream.
After watching five episodes from the sidelines I step up behind the yellow podium ready to spin that wheel. I’ve heard all day it’s over very quickly so I was going to take it all in as much as possible. Pat walks over, we pick up our buzzers and we’re looking at the first toss up. I buzz in and guess wrong. In my mind I’m saying “that’s it I blew it” but in my heart I said “shake it off there’s lots of game to go”. When it came to me for the last time in the first puzzle I knew the answer but was determined to pick up all the multiple letters up there. But a close call with Bankrupt scared me into take the bigger of the multiples and solving the puzzle; making sure I leave the stage with more than the minimum. The luck continued when I solved the crossword and captured the Wild Card. Then came the Prize Puzzle. As soon as I figured out it was a trip to Italy I had to solve this puzzle. I took one spin hoping to hit the Express Wedge but got money and solved BRUSHING UP ON MY ITALIAN. Of all the trips I could’ve won Italy was the one I wanted the most. The game ends and I’m going to the bonus round. I pick my letters including an extra consonant for the Wild Card and not a lot is revealed. I then made the fatal mistake of only looking at the puzzle and forgetting to look at the used letter board. Time runs out and I don’t take home an extra $35,000. The best part of winning the game was spending the small amount of time during the credits with Pat and Vanna. I ran over, gave Vanna a big hug and we all talked like we knew each other for 35 years.
I left the studio with $17,950 including a trip to Italy and the story of my life. So it is true, persistence really does pay. No dream is impossible so don’t give up on yours.