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Inwood woman to spin 'Wheel of Fortune'

November 16, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

INWOOD, W.Va. -- Nearly four months after Stephanie Dillow stood in a Los Angeles studio and asked Pat Sajak if she could buy a vowel, the Berkeley County, W.Va., resident's crack at the "Wheel of Fortune" is being aired.

The episode featuring Dillow as a contestant will be broadcast Monday at 7 p.m. on WHAG in Hagerstown and WJLA out of Washington, D.C., according to Ani Amirkhanian, publicity coordinator for Sony Pictures Television.

In a word, the experience of being on a television game show was "awesome," Dillow said.

Like most young adults, the 25-year-old can remember occasionally watching contestants spin the "Wheel of Fortune."

"I have always enjoyed the show, but I don't watch it on a daily basis," she said.

So it came as a shock to Dillow when the application she filled out on a whim landed her an audition in Herndon, Va., and eventually a spot on the show.

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The key to her success? Personality, she said.

The studio was looking for contestants who would cheer, clap and be bubbly on camera, she said.

While Dillow admitted that she is apprehensive to watch herself on film next week, she said she fears that her exuberance will come off as cheesy.

"I was excited and nervous," she said. "I was acting a bit goofy."

Still, her late July trip to L.A. was worth it, she said. While there, she was also part of the "Price is Right" studio audience, along with her mother and boyfriend.

"The funny thing is, is that I have never been a lucky person," she said. "This is like I hit the big time."

Because the episode has yet to air, Dillow could not reveal the outcome of the game. She did say that it did not go quite as she had planned.

Regardless, finally being able to share all the details of her experience will be a relief, she said.

"It's nothing like it appears on TV," Dillow said. "For one thing, the wheel is much smaller."

Solving the puzzle is also more difficult, she said.

Between the lights, the studio audience and the pressure of competing for money, the words that come to mind easily on the couch at home take more effort to conjure when filming, she said.

Few people believed how far Dillow traveled to be on the show. She said she had to cover all of her own expenses.

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