Travis Matkin grew up watching Wheel of Fortune with his dad, Raymond, every night.
"When I would have friends over after school they knew at 6:30 [when the show comes on] you were quiet and watched or you left the room," Matkin said with a laugh.
It's a tradition he has carried on with his wife, Randa, and 18-month-old son, Rhett. After years of being a superfan, Travis thought he would try his hand at being a contestant.
"We watch it all the time, why not give it a shot?" he said.
He applied online in January and submitted a video that included the story of watching with his dad as a child and with his son now. Several weeks later, he attended an invitation-only audition in Little Rock.
"There were probably 50-60 people there and only a handful were from central Arkansas," he said, noting that several of the potential contestants were from surrounding states.
The prospects competed in a practice round and took a test completing puzzles. After that round, the pool was narrowed to about a dozen people who competed in a mock game.
They were dismissed with producers telling them they would receive a letter in the mail if they were selected. About three weeks later, Travis got the letter.
"It was such a whirlwind, but it was a blast to do," Travis said.
In April, Travis — along with his wife, dad and mother, LaJuana — went to the set just outside of Los Angeles.
"I wasn't sure if my parents would want to go but my dad said 'Of course I'm going to go.' It was a bucket list item for him," Travis said.
After one contestant took an early lead, Travis knew he had to make up ground so he took a gamble when he landed on a mystery wedge, which either has $10,000 or Bankrupt.
"I thought, 'If I'm going to win this, I'm going to have to get this $10,000,'" he said.
The wedge ended up being a Bankrupt, leaving Travis unable to solve the puzzle, "Homemade Spaghetti Sauce."
He didn't leave empty-handed, however. He solved a toss-up puzzle, "A Nice Long Weekend," netting him $3,000.
"Maybe with the money we won, we can have a nice long weekend," Travis said. "We're definitely not going to use it on homemade spaghetti sauce."