Watch parties are set up for all kinds of events: Watching the New Year come in. Watching the Miss America competition (Alabama had two contestants Sunday with Miss Alabama and Miss Nevada). Watching election results. Watching sporting events.

A watch party is set for Alabama folks to watch a local lady competing on "Wheel of Fortune.

On Friday, Jill Yawn of Baldwin County’s Eastern Shore will compete on the nationally televised game show "Wheel of Fortune." The show starts at 6:30 p.m.

Interested folks can tune in on their own television sets or join others in pulling for Jill at the watch party at the famous Ed’s Seafood Shed in Spanish Fort. Ed’s management is sponsoring the free event and encourages folks to come early to put in food or drink orders before the excitement begins and all eyes tune to the local lady competing on the longstanding show.

Ed’s Seafood Shed is located at 6450 Highway 90, suite J in downtown Spanish Fort near the junction of Highway 90 and Highway 98. It had previously been located on the Mobile Bay Causeway for years, and many folks looking to go to Ed’s mistakenly go to the old Causeway location, which was destroyed by fire.

It’s a long way from Baldwin County to Culver City, Calif., but that’s the journey for Jill Yawn to be a wheel contestant. Her day job is as a bookkeeper at Belforest Elementary School in Daphne.

The watch party is free, and no ticket or reservation is required.

Jill Yawn, bookkeeper of Belforest Elementary School, Daphne, Alabama. Alabama News
Jill Yawn, bookkeeper of Belforest Elementary School, Daphne, Alabama. Photo: Baldwin County BOE

Ed’s Seafood Shed posted on Facebook Sunday, “Come out and support the Eastern Shore's very own Jill Yawn as she makes her premiere on the Wheel of Fortune!! This Friday at 6:30 pm, we'll be hosting a Watch Party for Jill!! Arrive early to secure your spot and cheer Jill on!!”

Jill Lawn will compete against two other guests to solve word puzzles. The prizes are determined on a giant spin wheel for which the game show is named. 

This month is the 48th anniversary of Wheel of Fortune, which has been running since 1975. 

The show has been hosted by Pat Sajak and Vanna White since the inception of the night-time syndicated version, which has produced over 8,000 episodes. For the 2024 season, Ryan Seacrest was selected to take over for the retiring Sajak.

Sajak is the longest-running game show host, having surpassed Bob Barker of "The Price is Right" in 2018. The show is produced by Merv Griffin.

Since the COVID pandemic of 2020, auditions to become contestants on Wheel of Fortune have been done online.

Jim Zeigler is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at [email protected].

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