Spinning the ‘Wheel of Fortune’

One woman’s dream came true with the luck of the draw and a little hope.

Suzanne Perreira from Maple Valley beat the odds and was picked to be on the TV show “Wheel of Fortune” during the summer of 2017.

Perreira is not only a mom; but she is also a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines and a fitness instructor.

She said her daughter tagged her in a post on Facebook saying the “Wheel Mobile” was going to be in the Seattle area and that she should tryout to see if she could be on the show.

Perreira said she had the day off and decided to go with her friends.

“We figured it would be fun to be in the crowd, even if we didn’t get to go up,” she said.

According to Perreira, the way you get on the show is by getting lucky enough to get your name drawn at random.

She said there were three rounds of name drawing, and her name was called very last during the last round. She said they called a different person’s name first, but that person didn’t come forward. So they drew again and it just happened to be her name.

“I was really excited (be)cause we had been there for three hours, so when I got called it was really exciting,” Perreira said.

When her name was called, Perreira and herfriends started screaming and jumping up and down.

She said she had to go backstage after her name was called and said she was so excited and nervous that when she looked at her Fitbit her heart rate was at 120 beats per minute.

Perreira said the staff members for the game show interviewed each contestant once back stage.

She told them she likes to sing and dance, which then prompted the staff to turn music on and have her dance in front of everyone.

“He said, ‘Oh you like to dance?’ and told the DJ to play music and have me dance,” she said. “I’m a Zumba instructor, so it really wasn’t that big of a deal.”

She said she even got other contestants and staff members to dance with her so she wasn’t the only one dancing.

Once the interviewing process was over, the contestants did all sorts of puzzles and played a quick round of the game to see how everyone did.

“I just tried to be enthusiastic and tried to speak clearly,” Perreira said.

Then when the tests and games part ended, the staff told the contestants they would be notified via email if they made it to the next round.

Not too long after, Perreira received the email stating she could move onto the next round.

The next round consisted of the contestants playing the game and the staff members telling them to “smile more and to be more enthusiastic.”

Then they had to complete more puzzles, and Perrira said she thought she messed up a lot.

“I felt like I didn’t do well, but once they were done grading the tests (puzzles) they asked to keep maybe 20 of us behind,” she said.

Then, they were interviewed again and played another mimic round of the game.

After that, contestants were told they would be sent a physical letter in the mail if they were able to be on the actual show.

As Perreira was leaving, the contestant coordinator told her to stay behind so they could talk with her.

They told her “We really like you and want you on the show.”

Perreira said it was like a whirlwind because she had to be in California that following Thursday and the show did not pay for airfare.

Since she is a flight attendant, her and her family were able to fly standby to Las Vegas and then drive to California where the show was being filmed.

She said her family was so excited for her, but were also really excited to be on TV.

Once on set, she said the crew members were very nice and wanted to make sure everyone felt comfortable.

She said her biggest fear was saying something stupid on TV.

“I was really worried I was going to be one of those people who end up on YouTube by saying something dumb,” Perrira said.

She said she was nervous right before the show started, but the nerves didn’t last long.

“The moment I went on stage, I was focused on spinning the wheel and trying to solve puzzles,” Perreira said.

She said being on stage right next to the real wheel was nothing like what people see on TV.

“It’s weird (be)cause on screen when you watch at home, the wheel looks huge but the wheel is a lot smaller than it seems,” she said.

Even though the wheel was smaller, she said it was still really awkward and hard to spin.

Perreira won more than $15,000 in cash and a seven-day trip to a historic inn in Mississippi.

She said she and her husband plan on going on this seven-day trip for their 21st wedding anniversary in May 2018.

She said her biggest takeway from all of this experience was remembering to follow your dreams.

“It just seems like an impossible feat, and to actually do it, it’s like I can do anything,” Perreira said. “It was just a lot of fun. I would suggest anyone to go for it. It’s possible. If I can do it, anyone can.”

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