Until September of 2014, I hadn’t watched Wheel of Fortune since I was a kid. But when my editor offered me a chance to write a contestant’s-eye-view feature on Wheel’s return to the Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort on Hawai‘i Island to tape 20 shows for the 2014-2015 season, I couldn’t say yes fast enough.

A quick snap of the author in front of the puzzleboard between Wheel Goes to Waikoloa tapings. 2014

A quick snap of the author in front of the puzzleboard between Wheel Goes to Waikoloa tapings. 2014

I spent two days on set, interviewing crew and contestants – including Pat and Vanna – sitting in on a small try-out session and watching 10 back-to-back shows. It was hard not to get hooked solving puzzles and feeling excited for the big winner. Sitting outdoors, looking out at the ocean and hearing the buzz of the crowd was pretty cool, too.

Half the episodes ran in November, with the other half slated for Februrary. My story is out in AAA Hawaii Magazine (though there’s no link yet to this story, just my review of Honolulu’s The Pig and the Lady eatery), complete with a window into what Pat and Vanna do, and love to eat, when in Hawai‘i. I’ll post the story here when I’m free to do so. LL

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