Vanna White recently kicked off sales of the Kentucky Lottery’s new $5 Wheel of Fortune Scratch-off ticket, interacting with fans and doing media interviews on behalf of the Kentucky Lottery.
White attended what the Kentucky Lottery billed as “Kentucky’s Largest Wheel Watch Party.” She was set to watch that night’s episode of Wheel on a Jumbotron in the YUM! Center Arena, along with a small group of VIP second-chance winners in a private suite.
In a preview of her visit, White said in the Louisville Courier-Journal, “I’ve never done this before, watched the show with a room full of fans. This will be my first time to experience and be a part of a large watch party, and I think it is really going to be nice to see how people react to what happens on the show that night.”
Fans lined up for an hour and a half to meet the legendary TV personality and get photos and autographs, and she answered questions during a Q&A session hosted by Kentucky Lottery President and CEO Tom Delacenserie.
White also spent an hour doing a large number of five-minute one-on-one interviews with media from across the state. In the 24 hours surrounding the event, White’s appearance landed more than 40 radio and TV news stories seen or heard by a Nielsen audience of 846,000, generating a calculated publicity value in excess of $42,000.
White was one of 200 women selected to audition for “Wheel of Fortune” in 1982, selected by show creator Merv Griffin because he liked her chemistry with host Pat Sajak. In 1992, she was recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as “Television’s Most Frequent Clapper”. Averaging 720 claps per episode, she puts her hands together more than 28,800 times per season.
“We were so excited to welcome one of the most recognizable TV personalities in America to Kentucky,” said Delacenserie. “The fan response to Vanna was fantastic, and our players really enjoyed spending time with her.”
“Vanna’s appearance and the accompanying publicity has led our Wheel ticket to be a fantastic seller,” he said. Delacenserie added the Wheel of Fortune Scratch-off has been the Kentucky Lottery’s top-selling instant ticket since it first hit the market two weeks ago, outselling even $20 and $30 price-point Scratch-offs.