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West Fargo woman latest to play 'Wheel of Fortune'

Becky Wells of West Fargo will appear on Monday night's "Wheel of Fortune." Special to The Forum

Most of us won't ever have the opportunity to compete for "big bucks" on a televised game show.

Becky Wells has been on two of them.

Wells, who grew up in Missouri but now lives in West Fargo, won a car when she was on "The Price is Right" after high school.

Monday night, she'll return to the game show arena as one of three featured contestants on the "Wheel of Fortune."

Wells couldn't provide details about what happened until the show airs Monday evening, but she did say, "I made way more than it cost to go out there."

Not bad.

After years of virtually nothing, Fargo-Moorhead's also scoring big on the "Wheel." Along with Wells, Fargo's Bryan Shinn was a contestant earlier this fall. And word is they won't be the last.

Thanks to the summer appearance by the "Wheel of Fortune's" Wheelmobile, Fargo-Moorhead had produced a small flock of "Wheel" contestants.

David Strathearn, director of marketing and promotions for "Wheel of Fortune," says the remaining F-M players will be on some time over the remainder of this season.

No word on when or whom.

But we do know they got there via the Wheelmobile. Strathearn says that's where most of the show's 600 annual contestants come from.

Still, if F-M gets four people - and it sounds like we'll have had at least that many on the show - on the "Wheel" this year, it's quite a feat, at least when you considering more than 100,000 people try out via the Wheelmobile visits.

As for what happens when they get to the show, Wells can help us answer those questions, like the common query of "does the show pay for your trip?"

Nope. Wells says "The Wheel" simply guarantees each contestant a $1,000 prize. Other tidbits about her appearance:

* She says the "Wheel" set is small, and the wheel, itself, is much smaller than you'd expect. It's also much heavier than she expected, about 2,400 pounds. "It's not as easy to spin as I wanted it to be," she says.

* There's a lot of prep work. Wells says she had to arrive to the set at 8 a.m., even though the tapings (which are "live") didn't start until the afternoon. The down time was spent practicing puzzles with the contestant coordinators.

* Children under age 8 aren't allowed on the "Wheel" set, which meant her sons, Killian, age 5, and Garrett, 1½, had to stay home with her husband, Josh.

* Solving puzzles was easier on the set, at least for Wells. "You get to look at the board the whole time. When you're watching on TV, they show the contestants a lot of the time," she says.

Wells will be watching her turn Monday evening with a group of family and friends at a room in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in West Fargo.

She won't be the last F-M person on the "Wheel