This Week's Contestant
I can remember watching Wheel of Fortune when I was about five at my grandparents' house, and that was when my addiction began. I was so confused that if someone didn't solve the puzzle they didn't get to keep the money. It was then my grandmother taught me one of life's many lessons, "Well Jackie, sometimes life isn't fair."
Fast-forward seventeen years and I was in the stresses of my first year of law school. To save money, I lived at home for the first year with my parents and best friend Mallory. Every night we had a ritual, after work and class, Mallory, Mom, and I would hang out to watch Wheel of Fortune and unwind. I would solve almost all of the puzzles before them! One night to get me back, they watched an episode before I got home so they would know all the puzzles. Joke was on them when I still solved most of the puzzles before they could get the answer out.
I owe my mom, Paula, all the credit for getting me to fill out an application to be on the show. She kept pushing, when finally I decided to fill one out online, not thinking anything of it. Imagine my surprise when a year later in May of 2010, I received the e-mail for an invite only audition in Chicago! I was so excited, called everyone, and then realized I had finals on both days Wheel of Fortune would be in Chicago. I wasn't going to let this dream pass me by, so I drafted an amusing letter to my dean, Stephen Sowle, at my law school, Chicago-Kent School of Law. I explained to Dean Sowle that law school was expensive so it would be great to make some money and a little PR for the school would make it a win-win situation for the both of us. After a good laugh, he allowed me to postpone my final for a few hours. I was ecstatic!
On the day of my audition I kept telling myself to stay positive, upbeat, and keep smiling. Luckily, my twenty years of practice paid off and I made it to the third round of auditions with twelve other people! This was my time to shine, and when they asked me to give a brief introduction, I was prepared. I had spoken with my mom before the audition and she had said, "Your grandparents are more excited about the possibility of you being on Wheel of Fortune than graduating law school!" I needed to say something that would make me standout, and that was it. Everyone in the room laughed, and I felt extremely optimistic about the experience. Then I played the waiting game for the letter in the mail.
Two weeks later, the gorgeous white envelope with Wheel of Fortune emblazed in the corner came, and I knew I was IN! It was all fun and games telling people "I'm going to be on Wheel of Fortune," until reality sets in and you get an actual taping date. Mine came five months later in October, and it was in three weeks! At first I wanted to tell everyone, until I started thinking, "What if I make a fool of myself?" and "I really should have been hitting the gym."
I flew out to L.A. on the day before my taping. I had the greatest support system including my mom Paula, dad Dave, aunt Sheri, and best friend Mallory. They constantly were telling me how proud they were and how no matter what happened, this was a once in a lifetime experience and to enjoy it. My mom and Mallory had me in "intense training mode" and I played about a thousand games of Wheel on my phone in the days before the taping.
Tune in on November 22, 2010 to see if my "training" paid off!