This Week's Contestant
|Hometown:||Horn Lake, MS|
California... Here I come with my mom, sister, and husband too! I could not believe I was actually going to Sony Studios to tape Wheel of Fortune! As soon as I learned I would have the opportunity to be an actual contestant on the show, I hurried to book the flight and hotel for my visit. My face beamed as I entered school the next day and began telling my teachers and students that I would be filming the Wheel of Fortune in two short weeks. They were as excited as I. In preparation for the show, I began playing the Facebook version of Wheel of Fortune daily, intently watching the game each night on television, and having Wheel Wii parties to practice against my sisters and mom.
Nervousness had set in upon my arrival in Culver City. I woke up extra early filming day to ensure that I did not miss the shuttle from the hotel. While waiting for my shuttle of dreams, a fellow contestant recognized me from the Wheel Mobile audition in Southaven. He and his wife remembered my sister and me from the event, and coincidently, he had been chosen to tape for the same week's show. Apparently, we were pretty memorable (or loud) since there were thousands of people with the same dream.
After a quick trip to the studio, filming day was ready to roll. We were briefed on specifics of the show, rules, filled out a few forms, signed off that we would be fair and not cheat, etc. Several staff members were introduced, and quickly the day began with professional hair and make-up artists, trips to the set, scenes from previously taped shows, pictures with the wheel, practice spins (boy, was that wheel heavy!), hometown shout outs, and many more little parts which all played into the taping of six yes six show tapings. All I can say is, "WOW!" Also, I did inform the contestant coordinators that I had been practicing my "Vanna turn" in case she needed a back-up or substitute one day.
Our groups of three were chosen prior to our arrival and we drew colors for our placement on stage I drew blue. I was chosen to randomly select a game number which represented the day our show would air Thursday it was. I intently watched all three shows being filmed prior to mine, but was on the edge of my seat anxiously waiting for my turn to spin the wheel for real!
Finally, it was time to tape my show!! I proudly took my blue position trying to remember all the tips and strategies discussed earlier in the day. Then, with the blink of an eye, Pat and Vanna appeared and it was game time.
Toss Up Puzzle 1 Bam! I got it!! Introductions were made, and of course, I made sure to mention my sweet Rose who could not come to the taping because she was not old enough.
Toss Up Puzzle 2 No one had buzzed in, there were not many letters left to show, I had to give it a shotUm, sorry, did you say?? Pat could not resist commenting on my southern accent.
Round 1 I was third to spin and determined to overly articulate each letter called. I had a little money in the bank and a wedge for a trip in Europe! My strategy was to solve if I knew the puzzle and was in the lead so I did! This time, Pat chuckled and thought it was rather funny that he had never heard anyone enunciate each letter as I did. However, I was elated and got my first hug from Pat and a 9 day/8 night train tour of Switzerland Buh Bam!
Round 2 and 3 I was not so lucky with the wheel hitting Lose a Turn both rounds.
Toss Up Puzzle 3 Ding! Another quick finger and $3000.
Round 4 Boy, this was my round. I gave a spin, called letters, bought vowels, but the puzzle did not come to me. I had quite a bit of money but THING??? T_RT_ENE_ _ SWEATER Four letters left to turn and I bought a vowel I think I want to buy an "O" the audience sighed in unison, but the smile never left my face.
Round 5 I knew to make the Bonus Round that I had to solve this puzzle. I was less than $2000 behind the leader. One letter was called and Pat gave the wheel a final spin. Vowels worth nothing and consonants worth $1900. It was my turn, and I called an "R" three seconds buzz.
Altogether, I won a little over $16,000 in cash and prizes! Wheel of Fortune is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will live on through stories for many years to come. Being able to share this wonderful experience with my husband, mom, and sister is irreplaceable. My journey to the Wheel of Fortune is one that I will always remember. From the moment I auditioned to the end of my show's taping, every staff member was truly amazing and treated me like a super star. My dreams of being on Wheel of Fortune are now reality! Another item has been marked off Janie's Bucket List and the Wheel Watching Party is planned!