A native of northwest Iowa will appear on the television game show Wheel of Fortune tonight. Theresa Clark grew up in Sheldon, but now works as a first-grade teacher in Shelbyville, Illinois. She first auditioned for the program in 2006.
“I was a big fan of (the show) for a long time and then a Wheel Mobile event came to Decatur, Illinois and my husband talked me into going to it,” Clark said. She did not hear from the contestant coordinator until last October when the program was looking for contestants for an upcoming Teachers’ Week celebration.
Tonight’s program was actually taped last November in Culver City, California. Clark says the day involved a lot of waiting, paper work and practice at spinning the big wheel. “Vanna (White) came in and talked to us in the morning, but we didn’t see Pat (Sajak) until the taping,” Clark said. “Everybody was really kind and they made it a lot of fun.”
Clark signed papers agreeing not to reveal the outcome of the show, but that hasn’t stopped friends from asking if she won a lot of money. “I tell them, yeah, I’ll tell you, but then you have to come up with the money that they’re not going to give me for telling,” Clark said.
Her parents, Mark and Barb Matthes of Sheldon, and her sister, Trisha Laake of Sioux City, were at the taping on November 21. Clark, who’s a 1998 graduate of Sheldon High School, says she uses the TV show as a way to teach spelling lessons to her students.
“We have a little Wheel of Fortune wheel that came out of a board game and the kids spin the wheel and guess letters for their spelling words at the beginning of the week,” Clark explained. Clark and her husband Matt have a three-year-old daughter and are expecting a baby boy in February. Tonight’s show airs at 6:30 on N.B.C.