We don’t necessarily connect auto racing with TV game shows, but it turns out that “Wheel of Fortune” has its own set of wheels, and it will be ... well, it probably won’t be racing to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, but it will be there, conducting a contestant search.
From 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, the Wheelmobile, the show’s big, yellow promotional vehicle, will be at the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series garage in the speedway infield.
Then the Wheelmobile will roll over to Nebraska Furniture Mart, where the contestant search will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Nebraska Furniture Mart is at 5600 Nebraska Furniture Mart Drive in The Colony.
Sunday’s search will actually take place at the ground level of the parking structure adjacent to Nebraska Furniture Mart. Parking will be available on the outdoor surface lots, or on Levels 2 & 3 of the parking structure.
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Organizers expect some 5,000 potential contestants to show up at each search, but there’s still a luck factor involved.
Contestant hopefuls will fill out an application, and then there will be a random drawing, and those chosen will play a simulated version of the game, which is basically the old stick-figure game “hangman” with money and a giant spinning wheel involved. Even in the simulated game, contestants can win prizes, and “Wheel” staffers will evaluate players to see if they’re good contestant material for the broadcast version of the show. (For more details as well as eligibility requirements, go here.)
“Showing up to a Wheelmobile event doesn’t guarantee you an audition for the live show,” says a note on the Wheelmobile section of the show’s website. “There are many people who have an interest in being a contestant and not everyone makes the cut. Last year, more than a million people applied and only 600 were selected.”
Host Pat Sajak and letter-turner Vanna White are not expected to be at either event. In 2006, when the duo did show up for a contestant search in Grand Prairie, White told the Star-Telegram that there’s something soothing about the show, and that she has often heard stories about people using it as a source of comfort for an ailing parent or relative.
“It makes me feel good,” she said in 2006. “All I do is I am standing up there turning letters, but maybe the overall picture we are giving that good feeling, it’s like, ‘Here’s a refreshing thing on TV that people can enjoy.” White also pointed out that it’s practically impossible to watch the show and not try to solve the puzzles.
Searches will be held at 1, 2:30 aand 4 p.m., with staffers handing out applications before each hour-long “show” begins.
Free parking will be available in the infield and accessible via the South Tunnel from Allison Way off Texas 14. The South Tunnel will open at 11 a.m.