An Archbold man is waiting to tell the world how he did on Wheel of Fortune.
Josh Parrott traveled to Los Angeles in September to tape his show and become one of 600 people out of a million hopefuls to appear on the syndicated game show. Since the show is taped at 5 episodes a day, his appearance won’t be broadcast until Nov. 14.
“It was pretty awesome,” Parrott said. “It was surreal.”
Until then he is contractually forbidden from divulging how well or poorly he fared. All he can say is the least amount of money a contestant leaves the show with is $1,000.
That pays for the airfare and hotel he stayed at while in LA.
Parrott, a 2004 graduate of Hilltop High School, is a physical therapist at the hospital in Montpelier. He now lives outside Archbold.
He said he grew up watching the show with his family. His mom, Ruth, always told him he needed to try out for the show.
He tried once but failed to make a video. This past June he finally put it all together.
“My wife was at work, so I spent three hours on the video,” Parrott said.
He sent in his application and video and got a call inviting him up to Detroit for a tryout. There he joined 50 people for an audition.
His tryout included picking letters for a puzzle (the crew did the spinning) and taking a 16-question written test.
He was told to expect a letter in two weeks if he was chosen. Two weeks later he failed to get a letter, but the next day he got an e-mail saying he had made it and could he come out to the West Coast for a Sept. 7 taping. The following day, two weeks and two days later, he finally got the letter.
So, he flew out to California with his wife Diane and his mom, and spent a day filling all the contracts and legal documents and taping the show.
“We got tips on how to be a good contestant,” Parrott said. “We practiced spinning the wheel.”
His group of three was the first to go on, he said. One contestant was from New Mexico, the other from Kansas.
“We were all in the same boat,” Parrott said. “We were competing against the wheel, not each other.”
While the 15 contestants got a surprise visit from Vanna White while they were practicing, they only met host Pat Sajak during the taping.
The show’s announcer also made an appearance.
“(Vanna) wished us all good luck and told us to buy vowels,” Parrott said.
The pace was quick and the producers ran a tight ship. There was only one retake as Sajak and White had to make a second entrance to the set for Parrott’s show.
After his episode, he watched a couple more groups and then took off to see some sights before getting back to the airport.
“We went to Venice Beach and then Manhattan Beach,” Parrott said.
Following his appearance, he said is more understanding of how contestants act on game shows. There is more pressure than meets the eye, he said.
The pressure now is to not spill the beans on how he did. He said it’s been a challenge, but he also has a more pressing matter to keep his mind occupied: His wife is expecting their first child any day now.
James Pruitt may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org