Omaha, Council Bluffs play ‘America’s game’

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By Kelsey Jochum, Entertaiment Editor

On April 30 and May 1, the Midwest was given a shot at fame as the Wheel of Fortune Wheelmobile visited Harrah’s casino in Council Bluffs searching out its newest contestants. Those over 18 were invited to test their luck at a chance to be on the popular ABC game show.

At Harrah’s, potential contestants were given applications to fill out as they progressed through the ever-growing line. When contestants reached the door into the Harrah’s Convention Center, they dropped their applications in a box, which were transferred to a spinning barrel used later in the day.

Once the Convention Center was filled to capacity, the day’s events began. Marty Lublin and Heidi Jackson, traveling road hosts for Wheel of Fortune, took the stage and explained how the contestants would be chosen. From the barrel of applications, Lublin drew five names at a time. Those five people were then invited up to the stage to play an abbreviated version of the game. It didn’t matter whether a contestant on stage won the game or not; the game served as a chance for that contestant to prove that they had what it takes to play the real game with Pat and Vanna.

After several rounds of calling contestants to play the game, Lublin announced that those who hadn’t been called shouldn’t lose hope. He explained that all the applications would be kept and used in a random draw of contestants for the next round of auditions.

While only a small portion of those who visited Harrah’s got a chance to audition, everyone enjoyed the day’s events as they got a taste of what it’s like to spin the big wheel.

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