Harrison County

It took a village to get him on ‘Wheel.’ He’s hoping he can pay it forward.

LJ Gaddis, of Gulfport, spinf the wheel on a taping of the game show “Wheel of Fortune.” The show will air Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
LJ Gaddis, of Gulfport, spinf the wheel on a taping of the game show “Wheel of Fortune.” The show will air Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Courtesy Wheel of Fortune



A Gulfport man will try his hand at both puzzle solving and luck when he makes an appearance on a beloved American television institution.

Lyonel Jermaine (L.J.) Gaddis will be contestant on the long-running game show “Wheel of Fortune” on Wednesday. The show airs locally at 6:30 p.m. on WLOX.

Wednesday’s show will be Gaddis’ first to appear on “Wheel,” although he has been watching it since he was 6 years old.

“I applied online in April and then went to New Orleans in May for the audition,” Gaddis said. “I received a letter saying I made the final round and I was invited to Culver City, California, to appear on the show.”

But there was a caveat in the letter.

“The letter said there was no guarantee I would make the show, but the director said I was handpicked so we decided to go for it,” he said.

Gaddis said planning for the trip was a stressful experience.

“Every monkey wrench that could be was thrown in the plan,” he said. “So, we decided to drive out there — I got to California and slept a few hours before the taping and them we drove back to Mississippi.”

Gaddis, who works at Mississippi Coast Auto Brokers, is a member of Unbroken Ministries in Gulfport where he plays drums in the church’s “three-man band.” He said he will be giving some money to his church if he wins any on the game show.

“My church took up a collection to get me to California,” he said. “If I win any, I’m definitely going to bless them.”

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