This Week's Contestant
|Theme:||Leave Winter Behind|
I have to say, I am one of the most fortunate people in America! I was lucky enough to be chosen as a contestant for Wheel of Fortune!! Holy Cow! Can you imagine that?! I have watched this show since I was a little girl. I remember sitting there with my daddy, mama, and three sisters, every evening at 7:30, sharp! We never missed a show if we could help it. I guess you could call me an "original Wheel Watcher," considering the fact that my spin ID number is 003225, I would say that is an accurate statement.
I remember the biggest challenge was trying to outdo my father in guessing the puzzles. And nothing was more exciting than watching to see what the contestants chose to buy with their "Wheel Dollars" when they finished and "went shopping" at the end of the show. Now I'm really telling my age, I was only 10 years old when the show originally aired in 1975. I was the daughter of a coal miner and a nurse. I sat in front of the television with stars in my eyes and the dream that some day, that would be me on that stage! Considering the fact that I come from a small West Virginia town, of less than 10,000 people, that was quite a dream to dream. But, I did it!
The Wheelmobile came to Charlotte, NC. As soon as I heard Pat say they were coming here, I told my husband, "I don't care if I have to call off work, take a sick day, or a day without pay, I'm gonna be there for that audition and I'm going to LA!" He just kind of chuckled at me and said, "okay baby, whatever you want to do, I know it's your dream, but don't be too disappointed if you don't make it. You know there will be tons of other folks trying to get there, too." I just giggled back and said, "okay, you just wait and see!"
When I got there and saw that everyone had to fill out an application, and then wait to see if it was randomly drawn, I panicked! My little mind went to work trying to figure out how I could make my application stand out. I saw everyone folding theirs in half and slipping it into the box. My nursing career helped me at that point. We have to constantly be critically thinking because peoples lives are in our hands. "Aha! I will fold mine 5 times and then let it puff up!" I knew from my psych classes that its human instinct to be drawn to something that is different. I had to make mine different and stand out! It worked perfectly! I was the 5th person drawn! They said "your audition begins as soon as we call you name." I was jumping up and down, and crying, I couldn't believe this was happening to me. Once up on stage, they noticed I had written singing karaoke as a hobby, and guess what they wanted me to do....sing! And I did, without hesitation. All I could think was, "Patsy Cline, don't fail me now," and started to sing "Crazy." When I received that letter in less than two weeks telling me I made the final auditions, the whole neighborhood probably heard me screaming!
I walked into that hotel, knowing my destiny was in my own hands. There were probably 80 people there. We had to take a written test and solve as many puzzles as we could in 10 minutes or so. It was tough, but fun. Then we guessed letters, pretended to spin the wheel, and solved puzzles, so the contestant coordinators could see if we would be logical and make a good contestant. It was so exciting, I was so close to my dream, I just had to make it! Sure enough, I made it to the last 20 people. We were told that some of us, none of us, or all of us, could possibly make it to the contestant pool. When I got that final letter, I just couldn't wait for my opportunity to go! It seemed like a lifetime before I got that call. I watched that mailbox like a hawk and checked my answering machine every day a million times. When that call finally came mid-January, and they said I had to be there January 27th, I knew it was going to be one of the greatest days of my life! I had my Sony Rewards card ready to buy my airline tickets, reserve my hotel, and take me to my dream game! It was really happening! I got to see Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and live my dream, all in one week. I made a vacation of it, and it was the most wonderful experience of my life, next to my wedding and birth of my children, of course!
So I guess I'll have to watch with all of you, because I have no idea what really happened in those wonderful 30 minutes of my life, except that I had an opportunity of a lifetime, which only a handful of people will ever experience. What an adventure it was! Meet me there, Monday, March 7th to share it with me. Maybe someday, it will be you on that stage, spinning the Wheel, and living YOUR dream...good luck!