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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Law students spin the ‘Wheel of Fortune’

    On the Oct. 4 episode of Wheel of Fortune, UA law student Alison Christian spun the wheel and won $18,050 in cash and prizes during Just For Fun Week, making her the winning contestant of the night.
    On the Oct. 4 episode of ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ UA law student Alison Christian spun the wheel and won $18,050 in cash and prizes during ‘Just For Fun Week,’ making her the winning contestant of the night.

    Best friends and UA law students Alison Christian and Sheena Chawla took a spin at the “”‘Wheel of Fortune’ Wheelmobile in April, “” later winning more than $20,000 together when they appeared on the show that aired Thursday.

    “”We usually tape one or two college-themed shows per season, which features three students per episode. A lot of the students are selected from our Wheelmobile contestant search events, while others are selected from our online applications”” said Rupa Mohan, publicity coordinator for “”Wheel of Fortune.””

    Both women filled out a card at the event that asked for an anecdotal fact about themselves.

    “”Most of the people trying out were a lot older than us and seemed very boring. I chose to put that I can fit into an overhead bin on an airplane,”” Chawla said. “”I think that helped us to get on the show.””

    Chawla said she and Christian are both longtime fans of game shows.

    “”Our sophomore year we lived next door to each other and would sit in our houses and (instant message) each other answers to ‘Jeopardy’ questions that were on TV. Not a lot of people our age like to watch game shows, so we share that with one another,”” Chawla said.

    They both received an e-mail about a month after filling out the cards, notifying them that they were invited for a second interview in Phoenix.

    Christian and Chawla ditched their classes April 25 and drove up to compete against 100 others for their seats on the show.

    That day, Christian said that they had to take a written exam to test how quickly they

    Most of the people trying out were a lot older than us and seemed very boring. I chose to put that I can fit into an overhead bin on an airplane. I think that helped us to get on the show.– Sheena Chawla,
    law student

    could solve puzzles and participated in a mock show so the producers could see the prospective contestants’ personalities.

    From there, the show cut 90 people, leaving 10 in the final round.

    “”About nine days later I received an envelope saying that I had been selected and a contestant coordinator would be contacting me. I was called within two weeks and my taping date was set for July 14,”” Christian said.

    Chawla said she also received an envelope and she was set to be at the Aug. 10 taping.

    The process for taping at the Sony studio in Los Angeles started at 7 a.m. , when contestants began filling out legal paperwork for three hours.

    “”Everyone reads aloud the paragraphs to make sure there is no confusion,”” Christian said. “”You don’t have any rights as a contestant.””

    At 11 a.m., they were brought to the stage to do practice spins of the wheel, Chawla said.

    “”The wheel is incredibly small but so heavy,”” said Chawla. The wheel weighs 4,000 pounds, according to the “”Wheel of Fortune”” Web site.

    After the practice period, everyone is sent to hair and makeup. Then they hook the contestants up to a microphone, Christian said.

    “”Wheel of Fortune”” tapes a week’s worth of shows in one day.

    “”The very last thing they tell you is who the other contestants will be that you are competing against. I think they match up people based on ability and the color schemes of what they are wearing,”” Christian said.

    The actual taping of each show takes about 40 minutes because they stop after every round to touch up makeup, fix the film and encourage the contestants to continue doing a good job, Christian said.

    Christian ended up wining $18,050, and Chawla won $4,000. In addition to the cash, Christian also won a five-night, six-day stay in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel. The women plan to travel there together after they graduate from law school in May as a post-bar exam celebration.

    They said they also plan to move to Phoenix once they graduate, and the prize money each has won will help them purchase their first homes.

    Chawla said she was happy when she heard Christian had won.

    “”I had been waiting the entire day for her to call and was super-excited for her,”” Chawla said.

    Both said their families were skeptical when they tried out in Phoenix only because that February the women had traveled up to try out for “”Jeopardy.”” Although they did not make it onto “”Jeopardy,”” their family and friends were excited about them being on “”Wheel of Fortune”” and winning, they said.

    “”Winning was the best feeling,”” Christian said. “”It was so surreal.””

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