AnnaTheArcher became a contestant on Wheel of Fortune. You can do it too! Read on about her Wheel adventures and tips on how to get casted!
Wheel of Fortune
Let's talk about Wheel of Fortune. You grew up watching it on TV, your parents watched it, your grandparents watched it. How cool would it be to get on the game show we all watched as a kid? You may think what a random topic for an outdoor website, but I've had the opportunity to be a Wheel contestant, and I want to share my experience with y'all! You may just be the next Wheel contestant.
The Wheel Process
Before we get down to the process and my experience, know that becoming a Wheel contestant takes time. A longggggggg time. So no need to be in a hurry. Have fun with application and you will go a long way!
Step 1. The Application
There are two ways to apply to become a contestant. You can apply online or attend a Wheelmobile event. I applied online so I will be taking you through option one. Visit www.wheeloffortune.com and click on Current < Become a Contestant. Fill out the application, upload a headshot, and upload a video. The video and headshot are optional, but if you want to be on the Wheel, make sure to add them.
The key is to show your personality. I created a short video about who I am, where I'm from, what I do, my hobbies, and why I wanted to be on Wheel of Fortune. As I am AnnaTheArcher, I included my bow and my big personality in the video. Once you send in the application, forget about it! A year later, I was shocked to receive an email from Wheel inviting me to an audition in the closest city to me at the time, Orlando.
Step 2. The Audition
The audition was set and now came the time to brush up on my skills. I downloaded the Wheel app, watched the show religiously, and bought a fill-in-the-blank word puzzle book. Finally audition day had arrived. I drove to Orlando not knowing what to expect. Wheel hosted the audition at a hotel. I entered a room filled with fifty other Wheel hopefuls and three employees sitting at a table with a projection screen of a syndicated Wheel game.
One of the Wheel employees ran down the rules of playing the syndicated version and said they are looking for high energy, loud voices, and the ability to play the game. So it began! In my head, I told myself that I'm going to be on TV!! Positive mindsets are a must. The employees scream your name and you jump up and play the game. Talk loud, clap, cheer, be super high energy, and solve those puzzles.
They called me twice and I solved two puzzles! Then the next round happens. Each person is given a paper with at least 10-20 fill-in-the-blank puzzles to solve. Puzzles categories are given, and you must fill in the missing letters. Partial credit is considered. Fill in as many blanks as you can. The round only lasts for five minutes.
As quick as it started, the audition was over. Next comes the nerve racking wait. The Wheel employee stated that if you receive a letter in the mail, you made it on Wheel.
Step 3. The Journey to Wheel
A month later, I walked to my mailbox and BAM! I had received the golden letter. I ripped it open, and my film location and date was set for Los Angeles, December 2018. I was going to be a contestant on the Wheel! Note that Wheel does not pay for any travel expenses. I had to figure out a way to get there.
At the time, I could not fly due to my inner ear issues, so my road trip became reality from Gainesville, Florida all the way to Los Angeles, California. I hit the road and three days and two border patrol check points later, I had made it to Los Angeles in rush hour in my truck..... Quite the experience. New scenery, but a very long trip indeed.
I checked into my hotel and fell asleep. The next day, it was time to be a Wheel contestant.
Step 4. Being a Wheel of Fortune Contestant
I pulled up to the studio and let the coolness of this moment sink in. I was ushered into a holding room with multiple contestants. Wheel films six shows in a day. We walked to the wheel to practice spinning. There is a certain technique because the wheel weighs 2500 lbs!
And FYI, for all the plant lovers out there, Wheel uses real plants on the set!
We completed a practice round of the game show where the employees made sure our clothing was TV appropriate and voices were loud and clear. Backstage, Vanna visited us! She is super sweet and very down to earth. My hair and makeup was done by a professional team. I felt like a movie star! And of course, I wore a camouflage blouse to represent my outdoor family!
Once hair and makeup is done, I pulled a number that determined which spot I would stand on stage. I got to stand next to Pat! I competed on the second show filmed that day. Let me tell you, this was the quickest fifteen minutes of my life. I guessed letters correctly, but the puzzles were not coming to me. I became frustrated and a bit panicked. This is real money I was playing for.
The bell sounded and Bam! The final puzzle was already here. Pat spun the Wheel and I guessed an 'N'. There were three of them. And the puzzle came to me! I yelled out, "Knitting a blanket!" Pat came up to me and said I won $6K! I dropped to the floor in shock. I may have come in third place but in my eyes I pulled off a huge win. $6K, a road trip to California, and I got to spread awareness of archer on national television. Wheel of Fortune is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Send an exciting application with a great video
Show your personality
Be patient, it's a long process
Practice! Watch the show. Download the app. Do old-school word puzzles
If you don't get picked the first time, try, try, again! Many people I met at the studio had tried out multiple times.
Love the Wheel and have fun! Don't expect to win big, but know that if you make it on Wheel you can consider yourself a game show expert!