Anne Merriman flew to Los Angeles earlier this year to film an episode which aired earlier this month.
Anne Merriman grew up watching Wheel of Fortune, and this year, she got the chance to spin the wheel on TV herself.
Merriman, a Holly Hill resident and realtor with Adams Cameron and Co., appeared on an episode of the game show on Aug. 7, where she placed third and took home $4,500.
The show taped back in February, though she'd been waiting to be called in for about a year. It all started when the "Wheelmobile" came to Cape Coral in 2018, where Merriman had been living at the time. She recalls that there about 10,000 people there for every day of the audition event. Merriman was called to audition on the second day, and then about a month later, received a letter calling her back for a second audition.
Another month passed, and Merriman received another letter telling her she had made the show, and would be called to Los Angeles anytime in the next 18 months.
That phone call came the day before Valentine's Day this year, and Merriman was told she had two weeks to arrive in LA.
“Then we had to plan a family vacation in two weeks," Merriman said. "It was great.”
She and her family took in the sights, stayed on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, and Merriman got to see the handprints of two of her favorite actors: John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe.
When it came time to tape her show, Merriman said the nerves hit the minute she hit the stage. She describes herself as very outgoing, and not shy at all. That changed when the cameras started rolling, and Merriman said her daughter teases her about it, saying she was surprised her mom didn't end up calling out a number rather than a letter during the game.
Merriman said she was just hoping she didn't throw up on national TV.
“I definitely realized that I am not meant to be on TV,” she said laughing. “I’ll stick with real estate.”
All in all, Merriman said it was a fun experience. She also got to meet Vanna White, the hostess with Wheel of Fortune. She came backstage to greet the contestants before the show. And though she didn't win on TV, she still beats her family when they play Wheel of Fortune on the Playstation.
Merriman never thought she'd get the chance on the show, but when the opportunity presented itself, she knew she had to try.
“Even if you think it’s impossible, go for it," Merriman said. "You never know.”