“Oh, Pat!”: My Wheel of Fortune Experience

My Wheel of Fortune Experience

As you may recall from a post earlier this year, one of my biggest dreams is to be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune. I am an avid wheel watcher and always have been. As bad as it is to admit as a dietitian, I do not like to eat at the table at dinnertime; rather I often eat dinner parked in front of the TV so I can watch WOF as I eat. This summer, I received the opportunity of a lifetime and was offered a spot as a contestant on my beloved game show. Now that the show has aired, I can finally talk about my incredible experience!!!

Wheel of Fortune

“Oh, Pat! Oh, Pat!” Pink daffodils never smelled sweeter to Amanda! 😉

Posted by Wheel of Fortune on Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How did you get on the show?

The Wheel-mobile is the show’s traveling audition team. I knew that it was coming to my area so I drug my husband to Decatur one Sunday to participate in the auditioning. While I was selected to go on stage and give a 30 second introduction about myself, getting an actual audition with the producers felt like a lost cause. My husband was also displeased that it felt like we wasted a whole day for nothing. I received an email for a call-back audition 3 weeks later and a week after that received another email that I was selected as a contestant. We flew out to Los Angeles 2 weeks later!

Do they pay for you to fly out there?

No. All expenses including flights, hotel and dining fees are the responsibility of the contestants. This is why all contestants are awarded a minimum of $1000 at the end of the show, even if they do not guess any puzzles correctly. This basically covers the cost of your trip.

What was it like backstage?

I got to the studio around 7:30am. From the moment we walked in, we were ushered through hair and make-up, went over hundreds of rules and waivers and also practiced spinning the wheel and calling out letters for a couple of hours. During the show’s commercial breaks, all contestants are quickly greeted by their hair and makeup artist and coach/producer instructing them on things to remember during the filming of the show.

Was the wheel really heavy?

YES! I didn’t think I would have a problem with the wheel since I am an avid crossfitter and lift heavy weights but it certainly took a lot of concentration and proper hand placement to give it a good spin every time.

What were Pat and Vanna like?

Even as a contestant, I was not allowed to ask for autographs or get my picture taken with them, but they were extremely nice to all the contestants. Pat is incredibly witty with his one-liners and quick comments to contestants, and Vanna is just as gorgeous in person as she is on TV.

Is it much different playing the game in the studio versus at home?

OMG YES!!! I’ll say confidently that I am a very good player when watching WOF at home. But when you’re standing there on your platform with a full audience, lights, cameras and a world of pressure on you, you forget what your own name is.

Did you really know the answer to the final puzzle and just waited until the very end to guess it?

No. I knew the second word was “daffodils” but for the life of me could not come up with the word “pink.” Part of the reason was because I started off pronouncing the long-I version of the letter instead of using the short-I pronunciation of the vowel. With literally one second to go, my brain finally fired correctly and I got PINK DAFFADILS out! Interestingly, I NEVER usually pick P and D when I’m playing at home. Usually, I go with C, M, B and G or H but for some reason, P and D were the first two letters out of my mouth.

What did you do to watch the show when it finally aired?

We had a viewing party at our house and the local news station stopped by to film our reactions and do an interview. It was so much fun commentating to everyone what thoughts were going through my head in addition to laughing hysterically at all my reactions — “the hormones the hormones” and “oh Pat oh Pat oh Pat!” It was also hilarious to see my ‘hunky hubby’ wave like the Queen of England when I introduced him in the bonus round.

If you recall at the end of the show, I was filmed talking to Pat and Vanna as the credits begin rolling. I was telling them my favorite quote: “Fate. It can only take you so far, but once it’s gotten you there, it’s up to you to make it happen.” Fate brought the Wheel-mobile to Decatur. But it was up to me to make it to the audition. Fate provided me the opportunity to be a contestant on the show but it was still up to me to remain calm, focus and use my noggin to solve the puzzles. And if fate ever blesses me with a baby girl, you betcha I’m decorating her room in pink daffodils!

2 thoughts on ““Oh, Pat!”: My Wheel of Fortune Experience

  1. Moni G says:

    That was an awesome show, I’m glad you solved before it was too late! I’m still waiting on my next opportunity to shine. It’s been my dream to do what you did. I love that quote about fate!

  2. Norma says:

    Oh my god, your favorite quote was my senior quote in 2001! LOL I loved the movie Can’t Hardly Wait. Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience! Your winning clip made my eyes watery, for real. You did a great job!

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