GILBERTSVILLE >> If you’re a fan of Wheel of Fortune don’t be surprised if you recognize one of the contestants on an upcoming show.
Gilbertsville resident Troy Carter was recently given the opportunity to compete on the show, an experience Carter said was a “fantastic time.”
Carter said he applied to be on the show after some encouragement from his 10-year-old daughter, Katherine, who is a big fan of the show.
“My daughter watches the show religiously and suggested I be on it. I pulled up the show and looked up how to get on and it was a matter of filling out an application and doing a short video so I did it and sent it in,” said Carter.
A few months later, Carter received an email about an audition date in New York. Carter went to the audition where he said they did mock games and a series of challenging puzzles.
“It was like a five minute test with 50 different puzzles in all kinds of different categories and it was difficult. It just flew by. Then they held some people back for other rounds and then they told everyone if they didn’t hear anything in two weeks then thanks for coming. The 15th day the letter showed up saying I’d be on the show,” he explained.
A couple months later, Carter went to Los Angeles with his wife, Kris, for the taping and explained that the actual show is a little different than an at home experience.
“I was much more nervous than I first thought. The game goes so fast. It’s definitely different than watching it on your couch,” he laughed. “At home, it’s very slow and it’s always your turn. It’s actually more difficult than you think to solve the puzzle and have a letter ready to go. Then someone takes your letter and you have to come up with another one real quick. The wheel is also much heavier than you think.”
But for all the difficulty, Carter said the environment on the show was very supportive, including the show’s hosts, Pat Sajak and Vanna White.
“Vanna came early and she dropped by to say ‘hi’ and they were super nice. In between the rounds Pat is talking to you and they’re really encouraging. He congratulated us and told us we were solving puzzles well and picking good letters,” Carter said. “They tape six shows in one day so there were 20 people there and everyone was super nice. Everyone wanted everyone to win. It’s a supportive group.”
Carter said that after the show, any winnings would go toward a trip to Italy that he and his wife had always wanted to take. He said he was also planning on letting his daughter and 13-year-old son, Joe, pick their own vacation.
“If we win anything we will give kids a choice for what they want to do whether it’s Disney or whatever they want to do. They can dream up their own vacation,” he said.
Until the show airs, Carter is keeping his friends and family in suspense about how he did. He and his family are even planning a viewing party for Thursday.
“We’re having a bit of a viewing party and we’ll do appetizers and stuff like that. I keep telling my friends if I’m drunk when you get there it’s because I didn’t do well,” he joked.
The show is scheduled to air on Thursday, March 9, on WPVI at 7:30 p.m.