Amy Herrington has enjoyed watching game shows for as long as she can remember, and on Monday, family and friends will watch a special episode of Wheel of Fortune with her.
“It was a dream come true,” said Herrington, who is a contestant on Monday’s episode, which was taped in August in Las Vegas at the Palazzo.
Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud and The Price is Right are some of the Grovetown resident’s favorites, and though she’s tried to become a contestant before, this is the first time she succeeded.
Details of the trip have been the Herrington family’s best kept secret for six months. Herrington had to sign mounds of paperwork to promise not to leak anything.
“If anything gets out on social media, they don’t have to give you the prizes. Their fans likes the surprise; they don’t want to know what someone won before it airs,” she said.
Her husband, Jack, and 12 year-old son, Luke, were in the studio audience, and Luke gets his own cash prize for keeping everything secret, she said.
There were a few things that surprised her about the experience.
The shows are taped in real time with breaks given as though a commercial was actually being played. During the break, they received retouches to their makeup. The wheel looked bigger on television than in real life, she said, and it was heavier and harder to spin than she imagined. Contestants did get to practice spinning a wheel before the episode.
And for all of those couch contestants, “it was so much harder in person” to play the game, she said.
The pressure of being a contestant in front of an audience of 1,000 people made it more of a challenge, she said. Though she couldn’t take photographs on the set, Herrington has a few memories she’ll never be able to erase from her mind especially the moments before taping began.
“When I saw Pat and Vanna in the wings, I thought ‘I can’t believe this is happening.’ My eyes were so full of tears,” she said.
Herrington said she’d like to go on another game show in the future. Another agreement she signed included not appearing on any other game shows for one year.
“When my year is up, I’d like to do Family Feud,” she said.
Wheel of Fortune airs at 7 p.m. on WRDW, Channel 12.