When Wheel of Fortune’s bright yellow Wheelmobile pulled onto LMU’s campus in February 2020, it didn’t take long for potential contestants to find their way inside St. Robert’s Auditorium. Students, faculty and staff members – even alumni – were invited to try out for the popular game show.
A select group of Lions who spun the wheel to solve word puzzles that day were lucky enough to get called back for virtual auditions and eventually land on the Wheel of Fortune set at Sony Pictures Studios.
In December and January, four Lion contestants appeared on the show that airs weeknights at 7:30 p.m. on ABC-7 in Los Angeles. All racked up five-digit winnings, with two contenders making it to the final bonus round for a shot at winning bigger prizes.
Sarah Harris, a communications manager in Marketing and Communications who has been a fan of Wheel of Fortune since she was a child, won a trip to Kauai on the Jan. 25 show. And after solving the bonus challenge worth $38,000, Harris’ winnings totaled $55,600.
“It was a whirlwind fun day that went by really fast, but a highlight for the year,” Harris said of filming the popular show that her grandmother also enjoyed. She is considering putting her prize toward a down payment on a home and future college expenses for her high school-aged daughter, and exploring ways to help single parents fund extracurriculars for their kids.
LMU alumna Anjali Chopra, who earned her B.A. in psychology in 2017, emerged as another bonus round winner on Jan. 27.
The recruiter won $59,105 in cash and prizes, including a trip to Mexico and a new 2021 Jeep Wrangler.
Lee aptly solved two New Year’s-themed puzzles – “Making New Year’s Resolutions” and “Two Thousand Twenty-One” – and earned $11,150 in winnings.
Just what made these LMU Lions stand out during the selection process?
“We want good game players and good puzzle solvers,” the show’s co-contestant producers said.
“We also look for people who play with a nice, natural enthusiasm, and a nice big voice.”