Despino to be contestant on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

Staff reports
Sherri Despino of Gonzales appears on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ with host Pat Sajak. The show will broadcast locally Friday.

Ascension Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Sherri Despino will be one of several local contestants to appear on “Wheel of Fortune.”

Despino, of Gonzales, will appear along with several Baton Rouge area residents on the syndicated game show, which broadcasts locally on WBRZ Monday through Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Despino will be the first of the local contestants to appear on the show. She will be a contestant in the Friday, March 27 show.

She will be followed by Cody Yawn of Hammond on March 30; Rikki Hegwood of Baton Rouge on April 23; Brandon Kelly of Baton Rouge on April 28; Robyn Parker of Denham Springs on May 1; Lesley Noto of Baton Rouge on May 8; and Wanda Williams of Baker on May 15.

Ten other Baton Rouge contestants have been chosen to appear on the show sometime during the fall of 2009 or spring of 2010. Air dates are subject to change.

For the local residents, the trip to the show began at a “Wheelmobile” event held in October at the Belle of Baton Rouge Casino’s Belle Atrium.

The “Wheel of Fortune” promotional vehicle rolled into Baton Rouge in search of game players.

At the event, locals were chosen at random to go onstage, five at a time, and compete in a speed-up version of the game show. 

Contestants were given a brief interview and a chance to play, while being evaluated as a potential contestant for “Wheel of Fortune.” 

Contestants who passed the evaluation were then invited to the final audition held in January in Baton Rouge.