Vanessa Verni, a sixth-grade social studies teacher at William Paca Middle School, will soon be buying vowels and trying to make it to the bonus round on WABC 7’s “Wheel of Fortune,” the long-running hit game show hosted by Pat Sajak and Vanna White. Ms. Verni will appear during “Home for the Holidays” week on Tuesday, December 19 at 7:30 pm.
Ms. Verni has been a fan of the show since she was a young girl, tuning into the program with her “Nanny” each night before she passed away when Vanessa was 11. She also hasn’t missed an episode over the past few years, even setting her DVR when she can’t be home to watch. She always dreamed of being on the program and decided to go for it last January, when she sent in a video. She was called for an audition in Boston a few weeks later and then chosen as a contestant about two weeks after that.
Ms. Verni traveled to California, along with her mother, Antoinette, and brother, Michael, in September for the taping; and while show rules prohibit her from sharing how she fared, she’s excited for everyone to tune in. “It was incredible,” she said. “The holiday set was beautiful, and it was so interesting to see the behind-the-scenes stuff you don’t see on TV like how small the studio is and how many lights and cameras there are. Pat and Vanna were even more beautiful in person than they appear on TV!”
Being a contestant made her realize how different it is being on set as opposed to playing along at home. “Since I’ve been watching for so long, I know that you judge errors and mistakes made by contestants from the comfort of your home, but when on stage and actually in the moment, it’s much more difficult.”
Be sure to tune in on Tuesday evening, December 19 at 7:30 pm on WABC, Channel 7!