By Scott Buttram
While serving as the wife of Pinson Mayor Hoyt Sanders may be somewhat of a supporting role to her husband, Cande Sanders was front and center Tuesday when she made an appearance on the “Wheel of Fortune” game show.
She was sworn to secrecy about the outcome of the game until after Tuesday night, but Sanders was able to share her experience.
“I had loved game shows since I was a kid and had always wanted to be on one,” she said. “One day I just said, ‘Well, why not?’”
Sanders won $68,133 in cash and prizes, including a trip to Hawaii. When asked what she would do with her winnings, she said she plans to tithe and give some away.
Sanders began the process of being on the show by filling out an application at www.wheeloffortune.com. By the end of May, she received an email requesting that she submit a picture and video of herself.
“I looked at the dates and realized that if I was going to do this, I had to move fast, so I sent the picture and video to them,” she said.
It wasn’t long before she heard back from the show and was invited to an audition in Atlanta on June 12-13.
“They really did a great job of explaining the process and they were very detailed,” Sanders said. “Everything went exactly like they said it would and I was very impressed with the way they prepared us for everything.”
Sanders went through a verbal audition, took a written test and then waited as half the invitees were cut from the group. A second audition followed in which potential contestants pretended to spin the wheel and call out letters as they would on the show. She left Atlanta not knowing if she would make the final cut.
“They told us that we would receive a letter by U.S. mail two weeks before the taping if we were selected,” Sanders said. “That’s exactly what happened. I received a letter nine days later telling me the taping would be in Los Angeles.”
Before leaving for the taping, only Sanders’ husband and two best friends knew she was going. As the trip grew closer, a few others were told out of necessity.
“I might have gotten out there and been told that I wasn’t what they were looking for,” Sanders said.
Sanders said she was impressed that everyone she encountered had gone through the same process and said the experience was a positive one. Meeting Pat Sajak and Vanna White was a treat, especially their down-to-earth demeanor.
“They were just as nice and ordinary as they could be,” she said. “Everyone on the set was nice and they genuinely wanted you to win.”