After many years of playing along with TV game shows at home, Jasmin Hashi ’09 got her “game on” in real life.
“It was like two dreams came true,” Hashi said. “One, I got to be on a game show. Two, I got to sit and be a part of the house where Alex Trebek filmed.”
Trebek, now deceased, was the longtime host of “Jeopardy,” which is filmed on the same studio lot as “Wheel of Fortune.” Hashi credits Trebek for teaching her a lifetime of trivia that has come in handy on countless occasions, including this spring when she excelled during the online audition process for “Wheel of Fortune.” Hashi’s trivia savvy helped her land a TV appearance in April. She competed on a special episode offering the chance to win a home in one of the Latitude Margaritaville communities which singer Jimmy Buffett, famous for the 1977 hit “Margaritaville,” helped develop.
Hashi came in second place and did not win the home, but she has some prized memories from the experience. The colorful custom set is one. Hashi played on a “Wheel of Fortune” set that included images and decor from Margaritaville-branded products and communities.
Another of her memories is the close bond the contestants formed. Due to COVID-19 safety restrictions, there was not a live studio audience so when the final contestant advanced to the bonus round the others became the audience and cheered for her.
“In that moment when you would normally have a family member run down and celebrate winning with you, she couldn’t. So we all became her COVID-safe family and helped her celebrate,” Hashi said of the Margaritaville-home winner.
Although she wanted to share the game show results with family and friends right away, Hashi was contractually obligated to keep details about the winnings secret until after the show aired.
By profession, Hashi is working in physical production animation and features with Netflix. She enjoyed the new experience of witnessing behind the scenes of game show production.
“To be there on the set and see all the inner workings to make the TV magic happen was very enlightening,” Hashi said.
For example, there are crew members who change the wedges on the spinning wheel while others help get the contestants excited about the next round of play. She also learned that since “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy” are filmed on neighboring stages, several of the crew members are involved in producing both shows.
“You can feel the pride of everyone on that stage,” Hashi said.
Hashi, a resident of Los Angeles, California, said she is proud to now be part of a “Wheel of Fortune” alumni group that keeps in touch. And she still loves playing along with current contestants from her living room.
Republished from the Franklin College Magazine, 2021 Summer Edition
By Alexa Shrake ’23, Pulliam Fellow
POSTED Oct 11, 2021