Wheel of Fortune


Seeing Stars: Becoming a Star (for 15 Minutes)

(213) 520-5555

"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.

Auditions are usually held at a hotel ballroom, where some 70 would-be contestants are gathered together to play a mock game of "Wheel," complete with puzzles and a wheel. Each person is given the opportunity to stand and call out letters, and try to solve puzzles, while the contestant coordinators evaluate their performance. Contestants are also given a 5-minute test, consisting of word puzzles similar to those on the "Wheel of Fortune" TV show. While those tests are being graded (15 minutes or so), they hand out door prizes. Those few ho make the cut are asked to stay for even more intensive interviews and mock game playing, and the rest of the people are asked to leave. But even those survivors don't know if they've made it or not. They'll notify you by mail if they want you to appear on the show.

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.

For more information phone: (213) 520-5555, Mon-Fri: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM (PST), or send a postcard with your name, address, phone number, nearest city and the exact date when you'll be in L.A. to:

    Wheel of Fortune Contestant Auditions
    10202 W. Washington Blvd.,  Suite 5300
    Culver City, CA  90232

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.

For more information about the show, you can access their official website at: http://www.spe.sony.com/tv/shows/wheel.]

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