It took 40 years and five tryouts, but Paso Robles retiree Barbara McGregor is finally appearing on “Wheel of Fortune.”
Too bad she won’t be able to watch her big moment on TV.
Instead of airing “Wheel of Fortune” on Tuesday as usual, local NBC affiliate KSBY, which broadcasts the popular game show in the San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara areas, will be showing the Winter Olympics.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the Olympics is every four years,” said McGregor, who’s in her 60s. Rather than pre-empting “Wheel,” she joked, KSBY should “pre-empt the Olympics” instead. KSBY President and GM Kathleen Choal said McGregor’s episode will air locally after the Olympics, likely sometime next week.
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Hosted by Pat Sajak and Vanna White, “Wheel of Fortune” is the longest running syndicated game show in U.S. history.
McGregor is the fourth San Luis Obispo County resident to compete on the show, celebrating its 35th season, in recent months.
In December, Sunrun sales consultant Eva Klentos won a car, a trip to Antigua and $32,100 in cash. Local tattoo artist Danny Derrick won $2,200 on Jan. 5, and San Luis Obispo veterinarian Taralyn Meusel took home $33,046, plus trips to Ireland and the Alps, after appearing on “Wheel of Fortune” on Jan. 24.
McGregor said she’s wanted to be on “Wheel of Fortune” since she started watching the show more than 40 years ago with her mother and grandmother.
“Long before there was such a thing as a bucket list, it was on my bucket list,” McGregor said. “That was one of my dreams.”
She first auditioned for “Wheel” in Atascadero about 20 years ago, but failed to move past the finals. Since then, she’s has tried out every time the Wheelmobile has come to town — finally succeeding at a tryout in Paso Robles in March 2017.
McGregor shot a “Delicious Destinations Week”-themed episode on Jan. 25 at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, with her husband in the audience. “It was quite an experience, as much as I hoped for and more,” said the Paso Robles woman, who can’t divulge details until after the episode airs.
McGregor had planned to watch her “Wheel of Fortune” appearance Tuesday evening with family members and friends. But she canceled her viewing party after learning Friday that KSBY would not be airing the episode as planned.
“Other parts of the country will see me,” she explained, noting that ABC and CBS affiliates are airing “Wheel of Fortune” on Tuesday as usual. “(But) everybody I know (locally) won’t be able to see me.”
McGregor said her son, who lives in Texas, has promised to record the show. In addition, Sony is sending her a DVD of the episode.