One of the most popular game shows since it first aired on television in 1975, "Wheel of Fortune" played host to an Ahwatukee Foothills resident in an episode that will air tonight.
Jill Trotter was selected out of thousands of potential applicants to participate in the long-running show. She said that of the roughly 10,000 people that apply every year, only about 600 are selected.
"I wanted to go on a game show because it would be something fun and different," Trotter said. "Just the odds alone say you don't have a very good chance of getting selected, but I was, and it ended up being a humbling experience."
She and 74 other potential contestants were chosen to audition for 15 possible spots. For the audition, Trotter played a mock version of the game in front of show executives, with a miniature wheel and ended up getting a puzzle correct.
"I was just really excited to get one," she said. "The whole time I was just smiling and laughing because I know that was what they were looking for in a contestant."
Trotter got the call on Oct. 13, 10 days after her audition, informing her that she had been selected to appear on the show. She, her husband, and their two children made the trip out to Burbank, Calif., and practiced all along the way.
"I played it on Facebook and the iPad version the whole drive there," Trotter said. "But when I got to the studio I was anxious because I still didn't know what to expect."
The filming of her episode lasted one hour because they film six episodes in one day.
"They film six episodes, 39 days each year," Trotter said. "Everything moved so fast."
The other positive thing about the experience was that, because it is the holiday season, she was a Secret Santa to a "Wheel Watcher" and whatever she won, they won, too. She couldn't say exactly how much she won, but she did walk away with some cash.
"It's a game of luck, but I was thrilled that I came away with something and that I got a puzzle right," Trotter said.
You can watch and see how she did when her "Wheel of Fortune" episode airs Nov. 16 on ABC 15 at 6:30 p.m.
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