PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A lifelong tradition and pandemic pastime have now resulted in a cherished memory for Connor Kraska.
In an episode airing on Monday, April 3, the Brown senior will compete on “Wheel of Fortune” as part of the show’s College Week competition, where he will go up against other students from across the nation to solve college-themed word puzzles in an experience he described as “once-in-a-lifetime, truly unforgettable.”
It’s fitting, then, that his time in college is the reason Kraska decided to audition in the first place.
“During [COVID-19] lockdown, my friends and I would walk over to the Grad Center and turn on ‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune’ together,” he said. “So that became this event that we all did during COVID just to have some bonding time with each other… and then I became a pretty religious ‘Wheel’ watcher.”
For as long as he can remember, Kraska said he’s bonded with his aunt by solving daily word puzzles together. From yelling answers out loud to the television screen to sending Wordles and other puzzles back and forth, their shared interest helped Kraska develop critical thinking skills and build confidence.
In January, Kraska’s friend sent him an Instagram post advertising that “Wheel of Fortune” was seeking contestants for College Week. He thought, “Maybe nothing will come from it, but at least I’ll have put my foot forward,” and he sent in an audition tape.