Sue B's Blog Post
My Wheel of Fortune experience began as I’m sure it did for a great number of you. I began watching as a child. In my case, it was the seventies before many of you were born. I have been watching faithfully ever since.
I always wanted to be a contestant but it wasn’t until both my children were grown and out of the house that I began to pursue it in earnest. I began attending Wheelmobile events whenever they were in our area around 2004. Sometimes my number was chosen and I made it into the audience, sometimes not. I never was lucky enough though to make it onto the stage. That didn’t keep me from trying again and again. I knew it was just luck of the draw and had to believe that sooner or later my luck would change. Thirteen years later I was still trying. Could my luck really be that bad? Then one night while watching the show I heard them say, “we’re looking for contestants – go to wheel of fortune .com for details”. I immediately did just that and followed the instructions on how to submit a video audition. I really didn’t have high hopes but what did I have to lose?
Lo and behold, about ten months later I received an email that said “we would like you to audition”. I was shocked and thrilled. I responded immediately that I was excited about the opportunity and would love to audition. One week later I made the trek to Orlando for the big day. There were about thirty people in our group. We did paperwork, listened intently to advice from the WOF staff and played mock games. They coached us through it reminding us, when necessary, to keep up the positive energy, project our voice, enunciate clearly the words in the puzzles, watch the used letter board and the importance of buying vowels. Absolutely invaluable advice! After a written test on puzzle solving they cut the field about in half and we played more games. They then said we were done and asked several of the group to stay and let the rest of us know that if we were selected as contestants we would receive a letter within two weeks. They thanked us for our participation and gave us encouragement that if we were not selected to continue trying. There was always a next time. I left not feeling too great about my chances but having had a great time participating in the audition. It truly was fun! Fourteen days later – no letter. Total bummer. Then on day fifteen an envelope with the return address of Wheel of Fortune Contestant Department appeared in my mailbox. Talk about making my day!
Now the wait was on. The letter said I would be contacted sometime within 18 months. It seemed like forever and I was well past worrying about when it would be when some seven months later I got the email saying “we have a taping date for you”. The taping date was in two weeks. I promptly responded and began making travel plans. Nothing could have kept me from making the trip.
Now, here I was in Century City at the Wheel of Fortune set. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, from the production staff to the hair and makeup people as well as everyone on the set were so friendly and welcoming you couldn’t help being put at ease in what would normally have been an extremely nerve wracking experience. Everyone really wanted to see you do well and did everything they could to ensure you had a great experience. I can’t begin to express my thanks to everyone for being so kind, supportive and caring. Both Pat and Vanna were friendly and casually chatted with us. You can imagine how many people they have to meet and make small talk with each day yet they were both very pleasant and engaging as if we were old friends.
Now to the actual taping. I was in the fifth group so I got to watch and cheer on everyone in the first four tapings. I will tell you that Pat tells you not to worry about your spin, he’ll tell you what you landed on. How true that was. I couldn’t tell you anything I landed on. I kept looking at the puzzle and did whatever Pat told me. When he said, reach down and pick something up I did. The only things l Iooked at were the puzzle and the used letter boards. I never knew the entire game how much money I landed on or how much I had accumulated because I never bothered to look at the board that tells you how much each player has. One exception to that. When I landed on bankrupt and gave the next player the opportunity to solve a big puzzle Pat said after the solve, “Well that brings you to within $1000 of the lead.” I did look up then to see just who had what. That’s what happens when you are engrossed in deep concentration – you just zone out on everything else!
Since you are reading this after my show aired you know how the game played out. For me, looking back, the whole game was pretty much a blur. In all honesty, I am really looking forward to watching the show next week so I can see exactly how it went. I do, of course, remember the last few minutes but until I see the show I couldn’t begin to tell you what happened the first 15 minutes of the taping! The one thing I am absolutely sure of – I had a great time. I would encourage every one of you to send in that video. It’s YOUR turn next. My advice to you is go in knowing that win, lose or draw you will have a once in a lifetime absolutely terrific experience. Relax and just totally enjoy it as I did.