J.P. D's Blog Post
What is your Wheel story?
For as long as I can remember I’ve been playing Wheel of Fortune either with friends and family or playing against the other contestants on tv. As kids my siblings and cousins would battle it out on the Nintendo video game, in grade school I’d play classmates on the board game, and in college I’d settle bets by challenging friends to see who could solve the puzzle first. My best was SAME NAME: BASKETBALL & SUPREME COURT. Got it with just the B’s and I got to pick where we were all going to eat that night. (Humblebrag…)
How did being on the show compare to watching it at home?
So much more intimidating than I ever imagined! I’ve been doing live theater and making movies with friends for years, but I’ve never felt nervous quite like that before. Little things you never have trouble with like picking a letter or deciding to spin or solve suddenly become the most important decision you’ve ever made. Plus at home I can pretend I couldn’t solve it because the cat was distracting me…
What was it like meeting Pat and Vanna?
Vanna is just as glamorous and sweet in person as she is on TV and Pat is just as quick. As I mentioned above, I was totally nervous and my palms were sweaty and freezing at the same time. I felt so bad when Pat shook my hand that I apologized to him during the commercial break. He just shook his head and said, “Don’t worry about it. You’re not even one of the Top Ten Worst.”
What was your favorite part of the entire experience?
When the audition process was over, we were told that we might receive a letter within a few weeks if we were selected as a possible contestant. I tried to put it out of my mind as best I could, but I noticed that a few weeks were passing by and figured to myself “better luck next time”. My lovely wife, Erika, took me out of town for a great birthday weekend and when she went to another room to get my birthday present, I went out and checked the mail. She handed me my gift and I got to hand her my letter from Wheel of Fortune. Best. Birthday. Ever!
What's something Wheel fans should know about you that they won't hear in your contestant interview?
For some couples (like me and Erika) trying to have kids can kind of get really, really, reaaaally expensive. In the time leading up to the show, I spent a lot of time playing out the up and down outcomes in my mind and had plenty of time to worry about “Bankrupts” and “Lose A Turns”. In the end, though, knowing that I have a great partner, teammate, and best friend in life win, lose, or draw is a victory all on its own.
Thank you to the Pat, Vanna, and amazing staff at Wheel of Fortune for this incredible experience!