Local woman plays Wheel of Fortune in Charleston

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February 14, 2007

CHARLESTON, S.C.---Game shows are on just about every channel these days, but some are longer-running than others. One of the most popular airs right here on News 12.

Wheel of Fortune is in its 24th year, and the show recently came to the Palmetto State for a taping.

I was lucky to be a part of it...and so were some others.

Erin Crawford was one of the participants. She's from South Carolina...and proud of it.

"North Augusta, South Carolina," she said firmly in her introduction. "Not Augusta, Georgia."

Erin is a junior at the college of Charleston. When the Wheel of Fortune bus came looking for contestants, she made sure to be around.

"I was honestly there not more than ten minutes, and they picked my name out of all those names."

Erin is one of 45 contestants chosen to compete on the Wheel of Fortune during a taping in Charleston. 15 episodes were recently taped there over a three-day period.

Erin hopes her winnings will help pay for college.

"More money than what's in my bank account right now," she laughed.

Big money was also on the minds of some country music stars. Josh Gracin, members of Lonestar, and South Carolinian Julie Roberts all took a spin of the wheel.

They were part of Country Music Stars Week, donating their dollars to their favorite charities.

St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital was Roberts' charity of choice.

"They treat kids regardless," she said.

The musicians weren't alone. Some lucky contestants played with them.

In the end, the contestants won thousands of dollars, giving those other than the stars a chance to shine.

"We're playing for the National Guard Youth Challenge Program," Gracin said. "It takes kids that have either gotten expelled, dropped out, you know not going to school at all, it gives them a chance to come volunteer to make their lives better, and get it on the right track."

And for those die hard fans lucky enough to get tickets or be on the show, they got a day with the cameras and some really fun memories.

"I was real excited," said one fan. "I watch it just about every night."

"Very exciting," Erin said, "especially for Pat to be standing right next to me."

There's one person we haven't heard a lot from yet: Vanna White. She's from South Carolina.

In our final report, we sit down for an in-depth chat with her about the game show and how excited she is to be bringing it to her home state for the first time.

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