Two former Maine journalists are due to appear on the popular game show Wheel of Fortune this week.
Giovanna Bechard, a former reporter for Portland TV station CBS 13 who now works as communication director for the Maine Education Association, will appear on the episode airing Monday.
Then on Wednesday, former BDN reporter Ryan McLaughlin will be on the program, in which contestants try to guess hidden phrases and spin a wheel to determine what prizes they can earn. McLaughlin, who was not available for an interview, announced the appearance on his Twitter account.
Bechard, 42, said she has watched the game show for her entire life and that her sister was on it a decade ago. “There’s a running joke in our family that everyone will get on Wheel of Fortune,” she said.
While Bechard could not speak about her performance on the show before it aired, she said that she landed a spot on it after participating in a tryout event at the University of Maine in Orono last summer. After she was invited back for a more serious audition in Bar Harbor, she received a formal invitation in the mail.
In January, she went to a television studio in Culver City, California, where she competed in the first of several episodes that were recorded in a single day.
McLaughlin won’t be the first Bangor person to appear on the game show in the past year. In November, Husson University grad student and Queen City native Kristen Shaw narrowly lost out on winning an episode of Wheel of Fortune after mistakenly adding the word “and” to one of her answers. Some of the show’s fans took to social media to complain that the rule she inadvertently violated was unfair.