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Posted on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 5:57 a.m.

Wheel of Fortune 'Pet Lovers' episode to feature EMU graduate Friday

By Katrease Stafford

An Eastern Michigan University graduate will be appear as a contestant on “Wheel of Fortune” Friday, years after she first applied when in college.


Ashley Boelens, pictured with her cat, Ralph, and dog, Samson. Ashley is competing on Wheel of Fortune during 'Pet Lovers' week.

Courtesy Ashley Boelens

Ashley Boelens, 25, was born and raised in Michigan and graduated from EMU in 2009. Boelens now lives in Maryland.

When Boelens was in college, a "Wheel of Fortune" Wheel Mobile event came to campus. She entered her name in a drawing, but she was never chosen.

"I had to fill out a card there and that's the last I heard of it," Boelens said.

Last year, Boelens said "Wheel of Fortune" producers contacted her and asked her to come to a closed audition.

"I guess they got my information from several years ago when I tried out for college," she said.

Boelens said she and about 60 other people auditioned.

"It was a really fun group and they had us go through stages of game play and they did several cuts and I made it to the end," Boelens said. "They said you'll hear from us if you made it onto the show."

Months later, Boelens said she received a call asking if she wanted to participate during 'Pet Lovers' week.

Boelens said she thinks they were interested in her for this particular week because during her audition, she may have given clues she was an animal lover.

"I finished my test a little early during the audition and drew cats and dogs all over the sheet," Boelens said. "I told them I foster for rescue groups and I have pets of my own."

Boelens volunteers with the Pet Connect Animal Rescue group, and has a dog, Samson, and a cat, Ralph.

Boelens said the experience was one to remember and she's grateful she got a chance to participate.

"It was amazing," she said. "... Vanna (White) came in and didn't have any make-up on, she was just herself in normal street clothes. The cast and crew, from A to Z, tried to make sure it was a memorable experience for everyone."

Boelens also had a chance to chat with show host Pat Sajack and said he was a genuinely nice and warm to the contestants.

Boelens said she plans to have a viewing party Friday with all of her friends and a Skype session with her parents who still live in Michigan. While she can't disclose the outcome of the show, Boelens said she had a great time.

"When you get there you realize it's everyone's special day," she said. "The group of people that were on my show were very nice... I'm very fortunate and it was a good thing to do."

"Wheel of Fortune" airs at 7 p.m. on WDIV-TV, channel 4.

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.



Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 4:27 p.m.

Ashley, I know the show has taped already, so it seems silly for me to wish you good luck, so I'll just say, Congratulations! It's great that you made it onto the show, and I hope to watch you win tonight! (And Ralph and Samson are adorable!)


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 2:08 p.m.

Poor kitty, forced to wear clothes. Doesn't look very happy


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 8:37 p.m.

I know and love Ashley and all of her animals. Ralph loves to dress up! :)

music to my ear

Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 1:24 p.m.

AShley I will be looking for you to represent our state .remember take a breath before you solve the puzzle I seen so many contestants get excited and say the wrong thing (just a little advice from a daily wheel watcher) good luck and win (the extra money will help with your pets)