Kerry Ruiz Photo Credit: Carol Kaelson/Wheel of Fortune®/© 2024 Califon Productions, Inc. ARR.

Area resident pays tribute to late mother with appearance tonight on Wheel of Fortune

Kerry Ruiz
Photo Credit: Carol Kaelson/Wheel of Fortune®/© 2024 Califon Productions, Inc. ARR.

BATON ROUGE — An area resident recently got an opportunity to live out a longtime dream and pay tribute to his late mother.

Kerry Ruiz says his mother passed away within the last year, and one thing she had always wanted him to do was audition for the popular TV show Wheel of Fortune.

Ruiz auditioned a few months ago and was picked for the show, which was taped on March 8. His episode will air tonight at 6:30, May 16, 2024 on ABC.

“I grew up watching it with my family, mom, and dad, and she always wanted me to try out for the wheel,” Ruiz said. “It was kind of a tribute, but it was also kind of a bucket list thing.”

He went through two auditions, and the entire process lasted roughly three months.

“I went online, and they had a tab, you can click to send in an application and you do like a 30-second video,” Ruiz recalled. “I did that, and in just a short period, they called me and said, ‘Hey, we want to audition you’.” 

Ruiz said he spent nearly 14 hours at the studio on the day of taping. It was Margaritaville Resorts Week on Wheel of Fortune, another sentimental piece of the experience for him.

“I know she (mother) was smiling down from heaven,” he said. “Just being brought up as a child watching it even with my grandparents. I’m a huge Jimmy Buffett fan. It was kind of a Margaritaville setting. The studio was decorated like the beach and that kind of thing. It was kind of sentimental that my mom and Jimmy Buffett passed away this year and here I am at Wheel of Fortune on Jimmy Buffett week.”

His episode will air at 6:30 p.m. on May 16, 2024 on ABC.

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