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'Wheel of Fortune' comes to Woodbridge

Sunday - 10/27/2013, 8:10pm  ET

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Hopeful contestants submit their applications for the 'Wheel of Fortune.' (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
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3,000 hopefuls audition for 'Wheel of Fortune'

WTOP's Kathy Stewart reports

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WOODBRIDGE, Va. - It's been seven years since the "Wheelmobile" rolled into the Washington metropolitan area.

On Saturday, it stopped in Woodbridge, Va. at the Potomac Town Center for two days in search of puzzle solving contestants to go on the "Wheel of Fortune."

The Wheelmobile takes the show on the road, bringing "Wheel" to the audience so they can participate in mock versions of the show. It also doubles as a recruiting tool to find new players to appear on the television show.

David Strathearn, marketing and promotions director for Wheel of Fortune, says the Wheelmobile has been on the road for 14 years. He says it gives the audience a chance to audition for "Wheel."

Strathearn says the show tries to hit about 20 markets a year.

"We like to look at the Wheelmobile as our own little field of dreams, if you will," he says. "If you build it they will come. And wherever we build our set, we get thousands of people to come out to audition for a chance at America's game."

At least 3,000 people turned out on Saturday, all vying for a shot to land a spot on the show with Vanna White and Pat Sajak.

On Sunday, Curtis Shank stood in line with about 1,000 others.

"It's been something I've been wanting to do for 30 years and I am finally getting the opportunity," he says.

Shank is a die-hard "Wheel" watcher, and he drove 110 miles from West Virginia to Woodbridge for a chance.

Matthew Erbstein, Wheelmobile tour manager, says everyone who attends the events and fills out an application has a chance to become a contestant. All applications will be handed into the contestant department, he says. The department could invite a person back for a second round of auditions, which will take place in the area in a few months.

WTOP's Kathy Stewart contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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