Dorene L's Blog Post
I have always dreamt about being on Wheel of Fortune and my dreams finally came true. After 25 years of attending every Wheel Mobile event in Las Vegas, standing in long lines and filling out countless applications at places like the mall, auto dealership and some of the most fabulous hotels that we have here I got the letter letting me know I was selected! When I found out I was actually going to be on I was in complete shock, and then the "what ifs" kicked in. What if I can't solve a single puzzle? What if I call a letter that was already called? What if I totally fan girl to actually be meeting Pat and Vanna? Taping was scheduled for 6 shows which made for a very long day since we arrive at the studio at 7:30 am. I had said please don't let me get picked for the last show and please don't have me be the person right next to Pat. Don't get me wrong, I love Pat but the thought of standing next to him the whole time made me nervous, he's Pat Sajak!! Well guess what...I was on the last show of the day and was next to Pat too! I tried to play it cool all day and the nerves were more from excitement until it came time to tape our show. It's way different then yelling out the answers at home and time goes by in an instant. Luckily I was able to solve a puzzle, Jumbo Soft Pretzel With Mustard, and knowing I at least did that was amazing! I then missed out on solving the prize puzzle, which was a trip to Maui, and it gave my fellow contestant a big lead. I was then kind of in a fog knowing that it was going to be next to impossible to be the big winner as time was running out. During a commercial break I got a glimpse of my family and shrugged my shoulder and smiled to let them know I was good no matter what the outcome. Then Pat gave the wheel a final spin. There is was , my glimmer of hope, it stopped on the $5,000! I knew what the puzzle was however I was the third person to guess a letter in that round. Waiting for them to be buzzed out was the longest few seconds of my life! I called a H, there were 3, and then I solved making me the big winner and off to the bonus round. I couldn't believe this was happening, it all was happening so fast and to say I was nervous was an understatement! During my letter selection for the bonus round my whole day flashed before my eyes. The adrenaline and excitement were at an all time high for me and I couldn't seem to speak. I wanted to solve the puzzle so badly but I felt like I was in a panic! I remember hearing Pat say you have 10 seconds to try and solve it, work it out and good luck. While he was saying that the puzzle finally came to me or at least I thought I new it. Instead of stating what it was I questioned it. Delightful banquet? No one did anything for what seemed like forever! Vanna seemed surprised and I think Pat said something like "how did you do that?" Would you like to see what's in the envelope? I said , "is that it, am I right? I was truly shocked at this point and it was like I was having an out of body experience. My family came out and poor Pat got caught up in our celebration. My total winnings came to $57,500 cash and a $1,000 gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond. As we hugged and I did the "ugly" cry, I couldn't believe that my dream came true! I can finally cross this moment off of my bucket list! Even if I would have left with the $1,000 consolation I would have been happy. From the moment my name was picked out of the drum on stage at Green Valley Ranch to the end of our taping day it was the most amazing experience of my life, aside from the birth of my children and my wedding day of course! Our show was the last to taped before they took their holiday vacation time and they all treated me as if I was the first contestant of the day and made me feel so special. Every single person that I encountered through this whole process, the crew that travels from town to town, make up and hair, the applause card holder, the countless camera and crew members and producers were all so wonderful. Not to mention Pat, Vanna, and Jim Thorton were so kind and funny! You exceeded all of my expectations and made my dream come true! So to all of you I say Thank You for this amazing experience!
To anyone who has tried out or is thinking of trying out, do it and don't give up! You never know when you might be picked!