Mara D’Amico’s family has always tuned in to see Pat Sajak and Vanna White on “Wheel of Fortune.” D’Amico grew up in Buffalo, and her mother always wanted to be a …
Mara D’Amico’s family has always tuned in to see Pat Sajak and Vanna White on “Wheel of Fortune.” D’Amico grew up in Buffalo, and her mother always wanted to be a contestant but never submitted a video for a tryout.
D’Amico said she loves contests and has even won a car off the radio, and a wedding dress on a different occasion.
“It was a running joke,” D’Amico said. “I decided I’m going to make the joke even funnier and try out [for ‘Wheel of Fortune’].”
After submitting her video, two weeks later, D’Amico received a letter invitation to a tryout in Los Angeles. She said her husband got the mail that morning.
“My husband was calling me while I was at a birthday party with my kids asking when I would be home,” D’Amico said. “When I opened the front door, he was videotaping me and handed me the letter.”
D’Amico said she was crying when she realized what the letter said. One million people send in letters and only 600 get the chance to try out.
The most in-depth way D’Amico could explain the audition was being in a room with many other auditionees and playing the game “Wheel of Fortune,” but at a fast pace.
“Bring your personality. We grew up watching it, Monday nights. Have fun, have a voice, and know your couples,” she said, adding that she would always pretend to spin the wheel in the living room while watching.
She said her 9-year-old daughter loves “Wheel of Fortune” and helped her practice guessing letters and learning couples for the audition.
D’Amico was not allowed to share much about her time on the show, which was filmed on Jan. 23. However, when asked about meeting Pat Sajak and Vanna White, she mentioned they exhibited similar personalities that they show when on the air.
“Being able to meet a star you grew up with, it puts a big smile on your face,” she said of Sajak. “He’s still got it. He’s never changed.”
D’Amico said she met Vanna White for a brief moment, too.
“Vanna White is beautiful,” she said. “Absolutely gorgeous inside and out. Beautiful personality. Fun and beautiful.”
When asked about her motivation to get on the show, D’Amico said she loves to set goals in life, since she is a triathlete, and has participated in Ironman competitions.
“You always set these crazy goals in life. My motivation is to set a crazy goal of ‘Can I be one of those one in a million who tries?’ and just have some fun. Never give up on a goal because you never know. Set unrealistic goals, try to accom- plish them, and just go for it. Be feisty,” she said.
D’Amico works in pharmaceuticals. Moving to West Islip 11 years ago from Buffalo, D’Amico has two children, a 9-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son. She also noted that her husband is extremely supportive.
She said she and her family made a vacation out of the trip to Los Angeles, staying for four or five days and even going to “The Price is Right” while there.