Kamehameha Schools graduate competes on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

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A Kamehameha Schools graduate made a big first impression at the wheel.

Noelani Kauhane won the first toss-up in Wednesday night’s episode of “Wheel of Fortune.”

Unfortunately, she didn’t win the full game. “I solved the puzzle, but then I had a couple bankrupts and you know, just the way the wheel works sometimes,” Kauhane said. “It went so quickly, I felt like I almost didn’t play that much.”

Still, Kauhane called it the experience of a lifetime, that came to fruition after a year’s worth of testings and auditions. She finally got an email saying she’d been picked, and that’s when the nerves hit.

“They asked me to come to LA for the taping and it was, it’s very nerve-wracking. There’s a lot of paperwork about how you’re supposed to dress, what their expectations are, but mostly they tell you from the get-go that they just want you to have fun,” she explained.

Kauhane said she enjoyed meeting the Wheel team, especially co-host Vanna White.

“She just comes by and she says, ‘Hello, everyone. I’m Vanna. I just want to say hello and I hope you have a really fun time today and good luck everyone,'” Kauhane said. “She’s just sweet as can be, and how Pat Sajak is. You know, he’s pretty deadpan. He has that really dry humor, so he’s hilarious.”

Kauhane added that the wheel is very heavy, and hard to spin.

“The wheel is over 2,000 pounds, and so it’s very heavy, surprisingly heavy, to move the wheel, and they teach you how to do it,” she explained. “That’s why almost everyone on the show does it exactly the same — reach way out and then push it on through.”

She encourages everyone who’s interested in being a contestant to give it a shot.

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