Santa Clarita resident Natasha Zambrano recently checked a big event off her bucket list — taking a spin on the “Wheel of Fortune,” the popular long-running TV game show.
Zambrano, who lives in Canyon Country with her boyfriend and two pets, submitted an audition tape to be on the show in 2018, not thinking she would be called back. However, she received a call in early 2020 saying she was picked to be on the show, but would have to wait months to play the game due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They called me saying the show was coming back,” said Zambrano. “I was feeling a mixture of excitement and terror. This wasn’t going to be the same as watching the game from my sofa in my living room.”
Zambrano recalls watching “Wheel of Fortune” with her family while growing up. She said she’d watch the show with her parents after dinner, and one day, her parents suggested auditioning when an advertisement to be on the show came on during a commercial break.
“My mom helped me make the audition video,” she said. “I just talked about things I liked, how I watched the show faithfully and played the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ slot machines in (Las) Vegas. I never thought they’d pick me to be on the show, so when I got the call, I felt a whirlwind of emotions.”
Zambrano said she prepared to be on the show by watching reruns and playing the “Wheel of Fortune” game on her phone. She added that when she was called to be on the show after it was paused due to the ongoing pandemic, it was the good news she needed after being in quarantine for months.
“I wasn’t necessarily excited to see myself on TV,” she said. “It’s like listening to a recording of yourself — you don’t want to hear it, but I was excited to meet Pat (Sajak) and Vanna (White) and be on the set of the actual show, since I had been watching it for the last 25 years.”
While Zambrano was disappointed it was a show without an audience, which meant her friends and family were unable to be on the set with her, she was looking forward to hopefully “winning big.”
Zambrano can be seen on the show Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. on KABC, during which she’ll be having a viewing party with her family, she said.