"Wheel of Fortune" is the highest-rated of all night-time game shows. Created by Merv Griffin (who also gave us "Jeopardy!"), and hosted by Pat Sajak & Vanna White, "Wheel" airs locally weekdays at 7:30 PM on Channel 7 (of the ABC network).
It also appears to be the easiest game for the average person to play and win.
You might have to be an Einstein to score high on "Jeopardy!" , but "Wheel of Fortune" is pretty simple - basically just a variation of the old "Hangman" game we played as kids.
Contestants spin the giant wheel to determine the prize value, then try to recognize phrases, names, or places by guessing which letters of the alphabet appear in those phrases. Cash and prizes are awarded for guessing the phrase, and for each letter turned over during the game. Piece of cake... right?
The problem with "Wheel of Fortune"
is that since it seems so easy, everybody wants to be a contestant
on the show. Last year, over one million people requested to be auditioned
as contestants, but only 600 were chosen. As a result, the show is usually
booked solid for over a year in advance. So be prepared for a long wait.
And of course, not everyone who wants to be a contestant is accepted. There
is the usual pre-game screening process and interviews.
What are the producers looking for in a contestant?
They want players to speak loudly, speak promptly, and follow a logical
strategy in choosing letters. They say they like contestants who are "at
ease, fun, and good game players," those who show "energy, poise,
and a sense of humor (without forgetting to call logical letters)."
Most of all, they want contestants who are determined to have fun on the
show, whether they win or lose.
Wheel of Fortune Contestant
Each year, Wheel of Fortune travels the country looking for contestants. If they have auditions in your area, you may be contacted to try out.
Getting there: The show is taped at Sony Pictures Studios (the former MGM studios) at 10202 W. Washington Blvd., in Culver City, CA.
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