Alabama pastor to spin Wheel of Fortune tonight after wife secretively signed him up for show

Published 11:54 am Wednesday, December 13, 2023

An Alabama pastor will appear on the TV game show Wheel of Fortune today after his wife signed him up in secret.

“It was a funny story,” said Matt Powers, who serves as a teaching pastor for Cultivate Church. “My wife and I went to the traveling Wheel of Fortune that came to Birmingham. She signed me up without my knowledge because she thought it would be fun to actually sign up and (thought), ‘Hey, what’s the worst that can happen?”

After some time passed, Powers received a phone call from his wife with a big surprise.

“She was at church with students and our son one Wednesday night toward the end of August and she just called me and said, ‘Hey, check your email. I signed you up for Wheel of Fortune. I can’t talk about it because we’re about to go into small group. Talk to you later, bye,'” Powers said.

After checking the email and going through an audition process, Powers found out he made the show and was able to join for an unforgettable experience.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “It was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever got to have. I was shocked initially when my wife told me, “Hey, I signed you up.’ I’d never in a million years thought I’d get to get on the show but now that it’ here, we’re pumped.”

Powers joined Wheel of Fortune for the recording back in October and had a positive experience with the cast and crew.

“My biggest takeaway was just how kind and genuine every single person we came into contact with that worked for the show was to us, not just towards me but towards the other contestants, towards my wife and kids who came with me to record and sat in the audience,” he said. “That’s the one thing I’ve told everyone is, from Pat (Sajak) and Vanna (White) being the celebrities that they are, all the way to the producers, the executive producers, the hair and makeup people—every person we met were just so nice and so kind and so encouraging.”

Powers said Vanna took time during preparations to talk to him about the show, the experience and what it really means.

“I see why the show been on the air for (48) years now, and I think it boils down to how great the people that work there are and just how kind everyone was,” Powers said.

Powers shared that he harbors no ill feelings toward his spouse for the big surprise.

“Definitely no hard feelings, he said. “Ultimately, it’s all because of her I got to have this cool experience.”

Powers and his family members are currently preparing to get together to watch the episode as airs on Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m.

“We’ve got a bunch of friends coming over to view (it) tomorrow,” he said. “I’ve got some family in the Birmingham area, they’re going to get together and watch. I’ve got family out in California that are going to get together and watch. So, there’s several little viewing parties popping up all over the place. It’s really exciting.”