Kristin A's Blog Post
I have been a life-long game show lover and Wheel of Fortune fan. My roommates, Danielle and Stephanie, and I watch Wheel of Fortune together whenever we are all home for dinner. As we watch, we play along. For the longest time, Stephanie and Danielle insisted that I audition to be on the show. One day in June, my friend, Mat, called to tell me that the Wheelmobile was coming to a resort and casino nearby. Danielle and I canceled our plans and headed to the auditions first thing Saturday morning. During the first show of the Wheelmobile event, I was called on stage. I was invited to a second audition. A few weeks later, I learned that I had been chosen to be a contestant!
Fast forward to late October. One evening as I was leaving work, I received an email from Wheel of Fortune asking if I could come to Los Angeles. I was in complete disbelief: I was actually going to be on Wheel of Fortune! I became even more excited when I found out that my parents, John and Karen, my sisters, Megan and Alyssa, and my friend, Jessica, were able to come to Los Angeles with me to be a part of the live studio audience!
On the day of the show, Megan, Alyssa and Jess dropped me off at Sony Studios bright and early. Upon my arrival, I was greeted with smiles and coffee. The members of the contestant department were wonderful. They ensured that my fellow contestants and I were acquainted with the set and the wheel and were as comfortable as possible. Before I knew it, it was time for my show! I lined up with my fellow contestants. We wished each other luck, took a deep breath and walked on stage. It was show time!
The first few puzzles flew by. By the first commercial break, I had a little over $6,000 and was feeling great! The category for the second puzzle was “crossword.” I was excited, because “crossword” is one of my favorite categories. I spun the wheel and landed on the mystery wedge. I guessed a letter that appeared once in the puzzle. I only had $1,000, so taking the risk was a no-brainer. I picked up the wedge, turned it around and saw the $10,000! I could not believe it! A few spins later, I landed on the “gimmie” wedge, which was a seven-night, eight-day North American Carnival Cruise. I guessed a letter that was in the puzzle, picked up the wedge and put it on top of the $10,000 wedge! Before I was ready to solve, I lost my turn. Thankfully, luck was on my side; the wheel came back to me. As soon as it was my turn, I attempted to solve. After what felt like forever, Pat told me that I was correct! I was so excited! I had won $16,000 and a trip! By the end of the show I had a little over $20,000 in cash and prizes. I could not believe it. I was off to Bonus Land!
During the final commercial break, I asked a producer if I could mention my brother, John, who was unable to come to Los Angeles when I introduced my family. The producer said I could, which meant the world to me. I introduced my family, spun the wheel and followed Pat to the puzzle board. The category I chose was “What Are You Doing.” I took a deep breath and picked “C H M” and “O.” Pat told me that all of the letters I guessed were in the puzzle. Once Vanna revealed the first two letters, I knew the puzzle. I was so excited, I started to tear up: I was about to solve the final puzzle! Pat told me that I had to wait for Vanna, which I did. As soon as he gave me the okay, I smiled and yelled: “OVERCOMING HURDLES!” Pat told me that I was correct and opened the envelope, revealing $36,000. I was in complete shock. The next thing I knew, my sisters and parents were running towards me. I have never been so excited. I am so thankful that I was able share that moment with my family.
Whenever I talk about my experience as a contestant on Wheel of Fortune, I always talk about the people. Of course, playing the game was amazing, but the people at WOF made my experience. Everyone at the show – the contestant department, hair and make-up, production, sound, and Pat and Vanna – were absolutely wonderful. I am so thankful to have been a contestant on Wheel of Fortune. It was the experience of a lifetime and one I will never forget!