Pat Sajak and Vanna White witnessed the brainpower of a GW student in action this last week when junior Matt Farber won $51,200 in cash and prizes The Wheel of Fortune.
It’s really unbelievable, Farber said. He won $48,200 in cash and a $3,000 gift certificate to an online sporting goods store.
I’m going to put some of the money toward school, Farber said. The rest I’m going to spend on something for myself, but I don’t know what yet. People have suggested taking a trip, buying a home entertainment center or going sky diving.
As for the gift certificate, Farber said he intends to use some of the money to buy uniforms for his fraternity, Lambda Chi Alpha. Farber was unsure how much would be taken out for taxes. The show was taped Oct. 15 and will air on Feb. 7.
On the day of the taping, Farber was put in a group to compete against a man from Howard University and a woman from the University of Maryland. The Maryland student won the first round, Farber won the second round and the Howard student won the third round, Farber said.
Farber then won the hurry-up round. In this round all consonants are worth a predetermined value and all vowels are worth nothing. Contestants pick a letter, like in normal play, and if the letter they pick is in the on the board then they have a chance to guess the puzzle.
My main thought was that I had nothing to lose by going. I just wanted to have fun, Farber said. I was still nervous, but after I won the second round my nerves went away.
Winning the hurry-up round made Farber the big winner of the day and he advanced to the Bonus round. What phrase won it??
In the Bonus Round, Farber had to guess a phrase. He was given three letters to start and guessed one more letter. Through sounding out he finally got the bonus phrase.
My friend told me that I got it in the last second, Farber said. The winning phrase was in fashion.
My mother and my roommate ran on stage, and my brothers from the fraternity were cheering for me in the crowd, Farber said.
Farber first got the idea to try out for Wheel of Fortune when he returned to school after summer vacation. He saw an ad on TV that said Wheel of Fortune was coming to D.C., so he filled out a post card. A month later Farber auditioned at the Mayflower Hotel. At the audition, Farber played a few rounds of the game and had to take a test that required him to finish partially filled-in puzzles. A week after the auditions, the actual show was taped.
After being on The Wheel of Fortune Farber said he feels he has become more well-known on campus.
A few people have come up to me in class and asked if I was `the guy,’ Farber said. My fraternity brothers have been making fun of me a little for that, but it’s all in fun.