By Hugh Shirley, news correspondent
“Are you ready to spin the wheel?” asked Marty Lublin, the host of the Wheel of Fortune’s contestant scouting tour bus, to a crowd in front of Quincy Market on Saturday.
The audience cheered and clapped along as Lublin announced the names of the Bostonians who would have the chance to join him on stage and play a round of the iconic game.
Nearby, a long line stretched down the street with people waiting to submit their applications to get on the show.
“We’re really looking for people with natural enthusiasm and energy,” said Matthew Erbstein, the Wheelmobile’s tour manager. “It’s the kind of people that when you’re sitting at home on your couch, you want to root for them to win $1 million.”
Those whose names were selected from a giant spinning drum had the chance to show off their personalities on stage as Lublin interviewed them. Lublin laughed and cheered along with the audience as one woman juggled for the crowd, another sang and a third performed an air guitar solo.
The bus was at Faneuil Hall on Saturday and Sunday for three shows each day, with approximately six rounds each show.
Every round, between five and seven people would be called up and interviewed. Then, the prize wheel was spun, and Lublin would list what the contestants would win: Wheel of Fortune brand bottles, hats, fanny packs and more. “But that’s not all!” the crowd cheered back to Lublin as he announced each prize.
“I was surprised to see as many people turned out as they did,” said Jamie Chapman, one contestant who won his round by solving the puzzle “No parking zone,” winning a Wheel of Fortune cooler.
The Wheelmobile was at Blackman Auditorium on Tuesday and held two shows from 10 to 11:45 a.m. and from 12:15 to 2 p.m.
The same prizes were given away as at Quincy Market.
One girl sang her soprano warmups and another did a cheer routine as audience members performed talents for each other as part of their interviews.
Northeastern is the only college that the Wheelmobile stopped at in Boston, according to Tom Griffin, a Wheelmobile organizer.
“The energy and enthusiasm from students is great,” Griffin said.
Applicants who pass the first round of auditions will receive a letter or email that will serve as their invitation to the final round of auditions here in Boston, Lublin announced to the audience.
Photo by Dylan Shen