Thousands turn out at 7 Cedars Casino for road version of ‘Wheel of Fortune’

BLYN — Carla Powell might’ve been the envy of every person in the room. In the first game of the first tryout Saturday for “Wheel of Fortune” — where more than 600 people jammed into 7 Cedars Casino, jockeying for their chance to spin the wheel in the big leagues — Powell won.

Powell, 36, of Nordland solved the Hangman-like puzzle and walked away with a duffel bag, a fanny pack, a hat and a vacuum-sealed T-shirt — plus a chance to return for a final audition and possibly an appearance on the national TV show.

“What else am I going to do today?” she asked.

But the stay-at-home mother and former teacher walked away unsatisfied.

She became nervous under the lights, she said, and didn’t think she reacted quickly enough or colorfully enough, to the questions from host Mary Lublin, the “traveling Pat Sajak.”

“Given another chance, I would be the whole package,” she said, noting that she taught in Saudi Arabia, learned to wind surf on the Red Sea and speaks Swedish.

“I am the whole package.”

Callbacks, or the second round of tryouts, will be held in Seattle in the coming weeks or months, said Lisa Dee, executive director for marketing and promotions for Sony Pictures Television, which produces the top-rated game show.

Joan Hermanson, 71, of Sequim said she tried out for the show once before, in the pre-Pat Sajak 1970s when Chuck Woolery emceed the show.

Although she’s a self-admitted fan, it wouldn’t break her heart if she got passed over, she said.

Dee estimated that there would be about 2,000 would-be contenders on Saturday, and probably the same number today, the final day of “Wheel of Fortune” tryouts.

Today, the games will start at 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. inside the casino’s giant bingo room.

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