Troy student takes a turn on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

Published 6:20 am Friday, February 24, 2012

A Troy University student and Troy native will appear on the popular television game show, “Wheel of Fortune” at 6:30 p.m. Monday on CBS.

Talesa Harris cannot say whether the wheel was kind to her or not. She can only say that it was an experience of a lifetime.

“I’ll probably not ever get to do anything like that again,” she said. “It was something I really wanted to do and I was surprised and excited to be selected.”

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Harris auditioned for the show in Atlanta and was selected from a group of 100 hopefuls.

“Only two people from the South were selected for the show,” she said. “I was so excited to be on the show and to get to go to Los Angeles and meet Vanna White.”

Harris flew to Los Angeles in December and competed for a “fortune” spinning the wheel.

“The contestants stayed at a Hilton Hotel and were driven to the Sony Station where the ‘Wheel’ is filmed,” Harris said. “Vanna White came in and wished us all good luck and gave us tips on how to overcome our nervousness. I wasn’t all that nervous. Just excited.”

The contestants were given the celebrity treatment.

“They did our hair and our makeup, just like we were celebrities,” Harris said, laughing. “I even felt like a celebrity. I guess they didn’t want us going on television looking a mess.

“They also went over the rules of the game with us and told us what to do and what not to do.

“And, then we were ‘on.’”

Six “Wheel of Fortune” shows are filmed in a day and Harris was in the first group to spin.

“There are three contestants on each show so you get to be on for 30 minutes,” Harris said.

“It was a lot of fun but the wheel is really hard to spin. It weighs 1,500 pounds so you really have to really give it a push.”

Harris said that she was teased about her Southern accent.

“I laughed and told them that we’re country and I’m a country girl,” she said.

Being a contestant on “Wheel of Fortune” is an opportunity to win a rather large sum of money. But contestants have to pay their own way.

“But you get $1,000 win or lose so your expenses are paid,” Harris said.

“Being on the ‘Wheel’ was a great experience and I got to say on national television that I live in Troy, Alabama.”