DDS Employee Lawrence Holliday is ‘Wheel of Fortune’ W-I-N-N-E-R

Lawrence Holliday

Lawrence Holliday on Wheel of Fortune. Photo Credit: Sony

Nov. 22, 2019 – Lawrence Holliday, a Disability Analyst at DHHS’ Disability Determination Services, recently appeared on an episode of "Wheel of Fortune." It aired in the Triangle on Nov. 14. Holliday shared how he became a contestant on the game show and what the experience was like.

How did you end up on the show?
I attended the Wheel Mobile event last year at Southpoint Mall in Durham. This was my first time ever attending. I was randomly selected out of the hundreds of names who attended the event. I was stunned when I heard my name called to go up on stage. I introduced myself to the crowd and solved the puzzle in the lightning round. I then received an invite for another audition in September, but it was pushed back to early spring due to Hurricane Florence.

During the second-round tryouts in Raleigh, we had to take a five-minute puzzle-solving test and we went through several lightning rounds in quick succession. The second audition lasted about two hours. I received an invitation for a taping within two weeks of attending the second-round tryouts. After first deferring because of how quickly Sony wanted me to attend, I finally flew out to California for the taping this past July.

What was it like to be on the show?
While out in Culver City, Calif., for the taping, I was excited but very nervous. I kept in mind that I will be recorded for national television, which kept me grounded and focused while having the time of my life. There was coaching and training before the shows were recorded to ease us into the filming. When the lights and cameras rolled, my heart raced and pounded between my ears. Eventually, I set my mind at ease and got comfortable as we filmed the show.

What did you win?
Including a trip to the Bahamas, I won a grand total of $17,774. For my episode, I ended up the Big Winner.

Who did you meet?
Before the taping, I met Vanna White in our contestant room. She was very personable and genuine, even off-camera. She popped in to wish us luck. I only managed to speak briefly with Pat Sajak during the huddle after the taping, and he seemed rather even-mannered. After making it to the Bonus Round by coming in first place, he told me how impressed he was with my puzzle-solving abilities.