‘Wheel of Fortune’ Contestant Reveals What Two Mistakes He Thinks Kept Him From Getting on Show During First Two Auditions

by Josh Lanier

Chris Newman is a lifelong Wheel of Fortune fan. He grew up competing with his parents and siblings to see who could solve the puzzles the fastest. So, when he got the chance to audition for the show in 2012, he couldn’t have been more excited.

But he didn’t get it. He tried to get on the show again in 2018, but again, The Wheel of Fortune is a fickle mistress. A short time after his second rejection, he told The Post Bulletin, he was at home watching the show with a friend. His ability to solve the puzzles ahead of anyone else on the show, impressed his friend enough that he badgered Chris to apply again.

“A friend of mine suggested I give it another shot because he thought I was a freak for solving puzzles so fast,” Chris told The Republican Eagle. A few weeks later, he was invited to audition via a Zoom call with a coordinator from Wheel of Fortune. He got the good news a few weeks later.

“I couldn’t call my dad fast enough, he was so stoked!” Chris said. Chris’ love of Wheel of Fortune began as he would compete with his family every night.

He told the newspaper that he believes he blew his first two chances to be on the show on small blunders. The first time, he said, he thinks he didn’t smile enough. The second time, in 2018, he yelled out a letter that was already on the board.

Chris finally appeared on Wheel of Fortune last month and won more than $20,000. He said that money is already spent, as his Southern California home needed a new roof. But he’s happy with the outcome, despite landing on the bankruptcy wedge of the wheel twice.

What Does ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Look for in Players?

The show knows what they’re looking for in a contestant. And if it’s your dream to spin the wheel and banter with Vanna, you’ll want to exude these qualities in your audition.

Harry Friedman, Wheel of Fortune executive producer, told ABC News that the ideal contestant knows the show well and is an avid puzzle solver in their free time.

Don’t fall into the trap that you need to be over the top either. There’s no need to clap or yell when you perform well. That’s not going to guarantee you a spot on the show. Even though a lot of contestants are bubbly and over-the-top.

“You don’t have to scream and yell and jump up and down. Just be yourself and guess some nice letters and solve the puzzle,” Vanna White said. Meanwhile, Pat Sajak added, “The trick is, just treat it as a fun experience and, you know, it doesn’t hurt to watch a show occasionally because there are strategies involved.”