When she found out the show was holding a special day for law enforcement contestants only, she just had to try, she said.
Payne-Davis not only was issued the coveted tickets, but she was selected to “come on down,” spin the wheel and participate in the game. But her family, friends, co-workers at the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and all the show’s viewers will have to wait until the show airs Tuesday at 10 a.m. to find out the rest of the story.
Payne-Davis is sworn to secrecy about what happened after that, she said.
“I went on vacation to Los Angeles with my daughter and I got tickets online,” said Payne-Davis, a sergeant with the sheriff’s office.
The process was an eye-opener for Payne-Davis. Law enforcement contestants ready to wear the colorful badge and compete to be on stage converged at the studio from all over the United States, she said.
“Three-hundred people, from as far back as Baltimore and Oregon were there,” she said. “There were also big groups from L.A. and San Diego, which was really cool. A lot of them were in uniform, especially the ones from California.”
Payne-Davis she didn’t wear her Washoe County uniform, other than dressing in a shirt with the county colors. The process to contend for the show took all day, she said.
The studio first issued a set ticket for Payne-Davis and her daughter for the law enforcement day. She was issued a stand-by ticket for another taping for Mother’s Day, which she also was able to attend.
Payne-Davis only made it to the stage for the law enforcement show.
The five-hour procedure first began with an interview process, she said. Ticket holders were taken into three separate waiting lines and interviewed. Each person was asked one to three questions.
“You have a very brief chance to dazzle them or get their attention,” she said. “They kind of watch you on camera and highlight the ones who stand out as far as having a bubbly personality or are outgoing people.”
In the first waiting area, contestants were issued name badges and studio personnel collected their tax information in the event that the contestants would win big money, she said.
Pictures were taken and put with the interview notes, she said.
“We were taken in groups of 10, lined up and one guy sits in a director’s chair and listens to responses, “ she said. “He watches you.”
Six contestants make it up on stage during the show and Payne-Davis was one of them. She got to spin the wheel, but beyond that she couldn’t say what happened because of her contract.
“But it’s really fun,” she said. “I definitely recommend it for anyone to go. They have a live deejay and a boom system to motivate people and try to get them all pumped up.”
Payne-Davis’ most memorable experience was meeting the host.
“Drew Carey was the nicest man, very sweet,” she said. “When (the announcer) is doing a description of prices he whispers to you. He explains it to you. So you want to pull numbers out. He’s very nice.”
Contestants start on “Contestants Row” to bid on items. If they make it past that point, they get on stage.
“So you win that prize automatically,” she said.
Due to confidentiality, she can’t say whether she won the next level, but she did say, “I am happy with how it went.”
She had some advice for those who want to attend a game show in the future.
“If you can be the one who shines above the rest, they’re very fair in picking and choosing,” she said.
Payne-Davis is planning a few events for Tuesday.
“I’m having family over and doing a viewing party. I haven’t been able to tell them how I did on the show either. Big surprise for them too,” she said.
The sheriff’s office will watch the show Tuesday as well.
“We’ll be watching it there, too,” she said. “At the sheriff’s office, we’re going to watch it there at 10 a.m.”