West Point-Beemer Elementary School Teacher Tina Johnson was on the popular television game show Wheel of Fortune recently. Johnson says the game itself didn’t go as well as she would have liked, but it was still a great experience. “Unfortunately, I only solved one toss up right at the beginning for $1,000. In the first round I had the puzzle stapler and staple remover, and I had spun to win an Alaska Trip, I had hit the $2500 wedge, and called a consonant, there was two up there so I had over $5,000 and I just couldn’t come up with the word remover. So I missed the prize on that round, and really never had another opportunity to solve after that point.”
Johnson, who won $1,000, says she had a lot of fun, adding the episode was taped with an audience between 250-300 people.
It only took her one try to get on. “Yes the statistics I understand is millions audition every year, but only hundreds get to actually be on the show. So I only auditioned once. A lot of times you hear stories of contestants who audition 3, 4, 5 times, and then they get the call that they finally get to be contestant. And for me I was fortunate enough that I made an impression, and I only had to audition once. And it was a very fun experience, but like I said very nerve racking,” Johnson said.
Johnson says the show is a once in a lifetime experience, saying once you’ve been on the show you can’t be on it again.
She describes the process of getting on the show. “So actually you start with the application process online. My husband and I travel South Dakota a lot to see family. So I just happened to get on my phone and applied online and received an email about 6 months later that they were going to have an audition in Omaha, and they asked me to join. So at the end of January I went to the audition in Omaha at the Magnolia Ballroom. And there they have you play mock puzzles. So they spin a smaller version of the wheel for you, and they put up puzzles and then you try and solve it.”
Johnson says once you’re done playing the mock version of the game then you take a 5 minute written test and if you do well enough on the test then they narrow you down some more and you continue to play just puzzles.
Johnson says she traveled to Culver City, CA in July to be on the show, which was aired on September 12th on ABC as part of Teachers Week.