Home Sweet Hollywood

Azaria Pearson, Staff Reporter

He went, he solved and he conquered. Former graduate of McCluer North and Florissant native Jeff LeFors could be considered something of a hometown champion and certainly a celebrity among his own family members after being a contestant on the nationally broadcast television program Wheel of Fortune.
Watching Wheel of Fortune was always something of a family event for the the Lefors even becoming a competition between who could solve the puzzles first. Jeff’s family soon got so fed up with him solving the puzzles before everyone else.
“So can we actually watch the show or are you just going to solve all the puzzles before anyone else again,” his parents would say to him.
Shortly after this Jeff got his laptop and applied to be a contestant on the show that he had been watching his whole life. Surprisingly the application process wasn’t difficult.
“It only took a few minutes and I figured that would be the end of my Wheel of Fortune experience,” said LeFors, a 2001 graduate of North.
Jeff couldn’t be more wrong. A little over a month later, he received an e-mail about the next casting/auditions in Louisville, Kentucky. Jumping at the opportunity of a lifetime, Jeff hopped into his car and drove to the auditions.
“I was actually a bit nervous, I had no idea what to expect,” said Lefors.
There was no room for hesitation in the auditions but Jeff didn’t have anything to worry about; he had practically been training for this moment his whole life.
The whole audition process took about an hour including a portion with a written quiz where he only had five minutes to solve as many puzzles as he could. During the auditions Jeff had doubted himself numerous times. It wasn’t until he heard his name being called for the final round of auditions that Jeff actually started to believe that he had a chance to get on the show.
This round was very similar to the actual televised game show. After this was over Jeff was told that if he was chosen to be a contestant then he would receive a letter in the mail.
“Sure enough that letter was in my mailbox two weeks later, I couldn’t believe it!” said LeFors.
The next stop on Jeff’s newly found adventure was California to the taping of the show. He had to buy his own ticket but got to stay with some old friends in Los Angeles.
There was nothing but excitement and adrenaline pumping through him as he competed and during the commercial breaks there were many jokes exchanged between Jeff and the game show host Pat Sajak and hostess Vanna White; At one point they even staged a fake punch between one another.
“During commercial breaks we’d step down off the wheel and the crew would come out and pamper us, blotting away sweat, re-applying make-up and giving me pep talks and words of encouragement,” said LeFors.
Despite the encouragement and cheers Jeff’s lowest point of the game was when he solved the first puzzle wrong, but after that he found his groove and even won a trip to Aruba to which he enjoyed very much. The whole experience will surely be something that Jeff will keep in his memory and cherish for the rest of his life.