UCSB student Holly Hayes will spin the wheel and buy a vowel alongside her father on tonight’s episode of “Wheel of Fortune.”
The show — an installment of “Dads and Grads” week — will feature high school and college graduates and seniors vying for prizes in father-child pairs. Hayes, a fourth-year English major, and her father Mike were selected to compete on the game show after applying online several months prior.
The father and daughter team — who are residents of Mission Viejo, Calif. — were notified in February that they had been chosen for the episode.
“I received an e-mail newsletter back in November asking for applicants for the show,” Hayes said. “I applied and was called in for an audition.”
Gary O’Brien, contestant producer of “Wheel of Fortune,” said hundreds of contestants applied for this particular special.
“About 200 teams auditioned a few months before the actual taping,” O’Brien said. “We selected about 15 of those teams, mainly from around the Southern California area.”
Tomorrow’s show will mark the second annual “Dads and Grads” week. The episode is scheduled during the height of graduation season and intends to celebrate the achievement of young scholars.
According to O’Brien, the show’s producers look for contestants who are intelligent and energetic to ensure a successful show.
“In the audition we look for teams that play as a team, play well together, have a good chemistry and teams who can solve puzzles under pressure,” O’Brien said.
In addition to being excited about meeting Pat Sajak and Vanna White, Hayes said she appreciated the opportunity to mingle with other graduates.
“The taping of the show was so much fun,” Hayes said. “We met Pat and Vanna and got a tour of the set. I was the only contestant there from UC Santa Barbara so it was really fun meeting other students graduating from other colleges in California.”
Hayes and her father competed for cash prizes, a pair of Nissan cars and a variety of vacations. However, Hayes noted she was more focused on enjoying the experience than winning the competition.
“My dad and I were both super nervous, but we had such a great time, it didn’t matter how well we did during the game,” she said.
The episode will air at 7:30 p.m. on KABC.