Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

January 10, 2013

JHS grad gives ‘Wheel of Fortune’ a spin

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE — Kristie Wolbers, a 1992 graduate of Jacksonville High School, had already been living in Los Angeles by the time she was selected to be a contestant on the Wheel Of Fortune. But as far as her friends were concerned it wasn't until that show aired Monday that she made her true Hollywood debut.

Numerous friends sent as many as 63 posts to Wolbers' Facebook page with question upon question about her time spent chatting to Pat Sajak.

"A Star was born," friend Julie King said to Wolbers through FB. "You just shined on that TV like it was nothing! Clearly, the host would have liked to continue talking with you. Bet you're asked back!"

Wolbers responded she had a great time and would be happy to return to the show if asked.

"I truly had a blast," she said.

As it turns out, her language was bleeped on the long-running, popular, puzzle-solving show. But Wolbers said she wasn't cursing — she had accidentally uttered a fairly mild expletive — if you can even call it that.

"I promise all I said was 'Holy Crap!'" she told friends.

Wolbers accepted a friend request from a Jacksonville Daily Progress reporter, but did not immediately respond to his FB messages requesting comment on the WOF appearance. These accounts regarding her experience on the show were taken directly from the public responses she left for friends on her FB page.

Wolbers is a Clinical Operations Specialist at Hythiam, Inc. in Los Angeles. After graduating Jacksonville High School, she attended the University of Texas at Tyler.

On June 20, Wolbers auditioned for Wheel of Fortune, according to her accounts. By June 28, she received the notification that she would be a contestant.

"Gotta go shopping," she gleefully informed FB friends. "Need to buy a vowel!"

On Monday, she sent another message to friends: "Should you grow weary of watching the defenses of Notre Dame and Alabama keeping each other from scoring in the National Championship on Monday, change the channel to Wheel of Fortune...you might see someone you know :-)"

On Monday, there were 63 posts from anxious friends wanting to know how it when and when they could see the episode.

Then her friends had fun teasing her about her performance.

Tommy Gilmer: "The first puzzle was 'Success Story.'"

Wolbers: "THANK you, Captain Obvious!"