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Franklin woman appears on Wheel of Fortune

Wheel of Fortune is a popular TV game show for many, but while some are content to watch from their living rooms, others dream of spinning and solving for themselves. Among those “Wheel Watchers” to take their puzzle-solving skills to the next level is Lynette Horton of Red Bay, who will appear as a contestant on Wheel of Fortune April 5.

A graduate of the University of North Alabama, Horton is a homemaker who is married with three children and one grandchild. She said she has been a Wheel of Fortune fan for decades, with memories of her children sitting in front of the television and watching the Wheel spin as babies.

“I was surprised to be selected – shocked – but so excited,” said Horton, daughter of David and Peggy Tiffin, whose family owns Tiffin Supply Company. “I’ve always loved Wheel of Fortune.”

After more than 30 years of loyal viewing, Horton began her journey to be a contestant when she attended a Wheelmobile event in Nashville, Tenn., at recommendation of daughters, who live in that area.

According to the show’s website, the Wheelmobile is Wheel of Fortune’s promotional vehicle that gives viewers a contestant-like experience right in their hometown. The 36-foot long, 13-foot high, bright yellow Winnebago travels across the country and into dozens of cities each year in search of good game players who are “energetic, enthusiastic and fun.”

“Every year, Wheel of Fortune receives over 1 million inquiries from viewers who want to be contestants,” said executive producer Harry Friedman. “The Wheelmobile was created to give people all over the country an opportunity to realize that dream.”  In fact, the majority of contestants who appear on Wheel of Fortune came out to Wheelmobile events – just like Horton.

“There were probably at least a thousand people there,” said Horton.

A professional host and hostess present a live show to give fans a chance to win prizes and qualify for a contestant audition to be on the broadcast version of the show. Horton was disappointed not to be selected to participate the day she visited the Wheelmobile, but with show representatives assuring the crowds that additional potential contestants would be invited to an audition via random drawing, she held out hope – and was thrilled to later be invited back as a potential candidate.

After a three-hour audition, Horton had to try her skill at a written text. “I felt like I did pretty good on that,” Horton said – but despite her feelings of success, she was dejected when she was not selected to go onto another round of the audition.

All was not lost, however, as Horton was later notified by mail that she had been chosen as a contestant, to her delight.

Horton taped her episode at the end of February.

“It was just a wonderful experience,” said Horton. “I was nervous, but it was a great experience.”

Horton is appearing during “Delicious Destinations” week on Wheel of Fortune. She will be spinning the Wheel, calling out consonants and buying vowels to solve the hangman-style puzzles and try for once-in-a-lifetime vacations, new cars and cash prizes.

In addition to Wheel of Fortune, Horton loves watching college football, playing tennis, sewing and traveling.

Franklin Countians can see Horton on the show on WAFF48 at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

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