January 21, 2010
Game shows are, and always have been, all about fun. So when the folks over at Wheel of Fortune suggested that I interview their official spokeswedge, $5K, I thought it would be quite entertaining. We had fun with it, and I even solicited some questions from friends on Facebook. The conversation ended up being lighthearted and full of laughter. $5K is one of the most energetic individuals I've ever spoken to, and he's definitely passionate about Wheel and giving out cash. Who wouldn't be?
$5K is currently on a tour of cities across the United States, giving away cash to Wheel watchers. You can keep up with where he's going and learn more about the Where in the World is $5K? promotion at WheelofFortune.com. Here's what $5K had to say about his travels, his career, and his favorite topic: sparkles.
About.com: Hey $5K, thanks for speaking with us today! I see you've been racking up the frequent flyer miles lately – can you tell us what you've been up to?
$5K: Yes! I've been to Dallas, Seattle, Milwaukee, and Tampa so far, and we're off to New Orleans next. I'm giving away cash to lots of viewers, meeting fans, and having a great time! I'm spreading Wheel of Fortune's money around!
About.com: And how has the reception been from viewers so far?
$5K: Oh the reception has been great! People love $5K! We've got so much money to give away, and I've nowhere near given away all of this cash. I've got a million dollars to give away in May!
People are really happy to see me though. I mean, here's this big shiny thing walking at you with a smile on his face, giving you money. Everyone's happy!
About.com: So have you had any strange reactions, like people wondering what the heck you're doing?
$5K: Absolutely. And there are people who accuse me of being in costume too! This is no costume, this is me. It's all me.
About.com: Pat and Vanna have hair and makeup people – do you do your own sparkles for the show?
$5K: You know, people ask me this kind of question all the time, they're like "hey, what's up with the outfit?" And I'm like, "I wake up looking this way! Shiny and fabulous!" This isn't my job, this is who I am!
About.com: Now that there are also $10K and million-dollar wedges on the wheel, do you ever worry about your job security?
$5K: Absolutely not! I'll be here forever. I mean, you want to get to the $10K or the million, where you gotta go? You gotta pass me! I've got the sparkles, I'm on the wheel and ready to play.
With this economy the way it is, you know, anyone is happy to land on me. Ten thousand dollars? That may be asking too much! And a million? No, you need $5K!
About.com: I've been following you on Twitter lately – do you write your own tweets?
$5K: Oh yeah! Twitter keeps me in touch and gives me access to awesome fans. I let 'em know where I am and where I'm going, and they show a lot of support for $5K and for Wheel of Fortune.
Plus, I'm playing that Wheel of Fortune Toss Up game on Twitter. The fans are so cool and smart! I'm pretty good at the game, but they got me beat most of the time.
About.com: Maybe Wheel should consider pulling contestants from the Twitter game.
$5K: Sure! It's a lot different being on the stage though. Trust me, I know that! Getting in front of the camera is completely different. I'm a pro at it now though.
About.com: What's your favorite part of doing all of this traveling?
$5K: The hugs! The smiles and laughter. It's like being Santa sometimes! I get to thank viewers everywhere I go. They laugh, they give me hugs, it's so much fun. I'm changing lives $5K at a time.
About.com: I have a personal question to ask you now, but I have to ask. Is it true that you dated one of the vowels?
$5K: Aw c'mon now! I'm a gentleman! $5K would never kiss and tell. What happens on Wheel stays on Wheel!
About.com: That question was actually suggested to me by a friend, and he added, "If he answers 'It was the best $250 I ever spent,' you may not want to follow up on it."
$5K: (much laughter) Oh, I love that!
About.com: I've been looking at the Where in the USA is $5K? website, and I noticed that the most recent poll asked if you should go to Phoenix or Fargo. Do you ever look at these and think to yourself, "Please send me to the warm and relaxing place!"?
$5K: Um... yes! It's beautiful to go to the warm places and have fun in the sun, and enjoy some rest and relaxation. Of course I'm quite reflective in the sunshine, but the reflection makes me the sun on earth!
I do need breaks though too, so chillin' in places like Fargo is exciting. I just put on my silver winter coat – and I have shiny boots too!
About.com: So when are you going to come up to Canada, since it sounds like you've got the wardrobe part down?
$5K: I love Canada, it's beautiful! Do I have fans up there too?
About.com: Thousands of them!
$5K: I'd love to go to Canada and hang out with my Canadian fans!
About.com: Thanks $5K, it's been fun talking to you today! Much continued success with your travels, and of course on the wheel.
$5K: Thank you, we'll see you on Wheel!
You can keep up with $5K on Twitter, or keep checking in with the Where in the USA is $5K? website to see where he's going next, and find out how to register to be eligible to have him visit you with five thousand dollars in hand. He's also making public appearances in a variety of locations, so if you plan on going to see him, don't forget your sunglasses!