Cleveland woman set for a California ‘spin’ on ‘Wheel of Fortune’
by JOYANNA WEBER, Banner Staff Writer
Oct 04, 2012 | 1663 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CLEVELANDER Nicole Lavigne could not believe it when she finally received a call that she had been selected to compete on Wheel of Fortune. Her episode airs tonight at 7 on WTVC Channel 9.  Photo courtesy of Wheel of Fortune Publicity.
CLEVELANDER Nicole Lavigne could not believe it when she finally received a call that she had been selected to compete on Wheel of Fortune. Her episode airs tonight at 7 on WTVC Channel 9. Photo courtesy of Wheel of Fortune Publicity.
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It was a dream-come-true for Nicole Lavigne, formerly a teacher at Cleveland Middle School, when she stepped on the set of “Wheel of Fortune” to compete.

Lavigne’s episode airs tonight at 7 as part of the show’s “Fun and Fit” week.

The Cleveland native said she has always been a fan of the show.

“I used to watch it with my mom,” Lavigne said. “I always dreamed of going on the show, but never thought it would happen.”

The journey to finally spinning the wheel was a long one, taking almost a year to complete. Lavigne first qualified for an audition for the show during Riverbend 2011.

“I came out the first day and I didn’t make it on the stage (of the Wheelmobile). Then the second day I did,” Lavigne said.

Names were drawn at random from those who wished to participate. Lavigne said her game was one of the last of the day.

“Finally after standing in that brutal heat in the middle of July, they finally called my name,” Lavigne said.

During the mock game, the Wheelmobile crew watched to see who might be good for the show. Five or six people played at a time, and then were asked to tell a little bit about themselves.

Lavigne was then invited to attend the auditions being held in Chattanooga for the show.

The auditions consisted of more mock games and a timed written test to see how good the potential contestants were at solving puzzles.

“After talking to people I felt pretty good,” Lavigne said.

In talking to the other contestants, she found out that many of them had missed more of the puzzles than she had.

Contestants who were selected to be on the show received a letter two weeks later.

Lavigne was one of them.

“It was very exciting,” Lavigne said.

Contestants were told they would be called two weeks in advance of when they compete. The first time Lavigne was called she could not compete because she was pregnant.

After Lavigne had her baby in March, she called the show and got the ball rolling again.

Lavigne’s family joined her in California, using the opportunity to have a mini-vacation. She said it was her first time ever being to Los Angeles. Her parents and her brother and his family also came to watch her compete.

Lavigne said there is a lot more pressure actually competing in the show, as compared to trying to solve the puzzles while sitting in her living room.

“I didn’t have time to solve the puzzle. I just had time to think about what letter I was going to guess next,” Lavigne said.

She said the pressure got to her a little, causing her to make mistakes she never would have if watching from home.

“It was fun. I enjoyed it,” Lavigne said.

The game she competed in airs tonight at 7 on WTVC Channel 9.