Rowan senior Michelle Jacoby appears on Wheel of Fortune


If you have recently watched an episode of the show, “Wheel of Fortune,” you may have seen a familiar face. Michelle Jacoby, Rowan student and senior dual major in elementary education and liberal studies math/science, had the chance to be on the College Road Trip edition of “Wheel of Fortune.”

Jacoby’s mother caught wind of auditions being held for “Wheel of Fortune” in Atlantic City, NJ via a local radio advertisement. On September 20th, Jacoby went with her mother and father to Atlantic City to the Wheelmobile at the Claridge Hotel. Jacoby was one of 600 people who submitted applications to do the mock puzzle they had to do in order to move on in the process of appearing on the show.

Out of those 600 people, Jacoby was picked 16th to solve the mock puzzle. Jacoby was the youngest of the group she went up against.

“I was actually the first one to solve the mock puzzle,” Jacoby said.

After the initial audition in September, Jacoby heard back in November via email for the last round of auditions. This time, Jacoby was sent to Philadelphia, PA, where she was told if they were interested in having an aired episode with her on it, they would send a letter in the mail in three to four weeks.

“Fast forward to February 3rd, I got an email [from Wheel of Fortune] while I was student teaching,” Jacoby said.

Jacoby had a 24-hour time period to RSVP in order to go to the taping of her episode on February 19th. This audition in particular was called “College Week.” Jacoby made plans to fly out to Los Angeles, California with her family and boyfriend.

Although Jacoby went to tape her episode on February 19, the episode didn’t air until March 30. Jacoby didn’t start off great, but fortunately didn’t walk away empty-handed.

“I wasn’t doing so hot before,” Jacoby said. “I went bankrupt early on.”

Going bankrupt during gameplay didn’t stop her, as she went on to solve a puzzle and win a trip, after given the option to either spin the wheel or solve the puzzle.

“I last minute decided to solve the puzzle,” Jacoby said. “When I told Pat Sajak, he winked at me and I knew I had to just do it.”

Thanks to a last minute decision, Jacoby won an all-inclusive trip for two to St. Cirox, with airfare included. The trip itself is worth $6,000, however, to book the trip is a long process, and you have to let them know when you plan on taking the trip at least three weeks in advance.

Jacoby gives credit for her being on the show to her grandmother, who is soon turning 90-years-old, and to growing up watching game shows with her sister. Although it’s easy to just yell at the screen, it is very different when you have the cameras pointing at you.

“You get like, ‘Oh my God, I’m really here,’ when you’re on the show,” said Jacoby.

Upon the airing of the episode, Jacoby’s family threw a screening party. Her close friends and family members gathered together to support her and watch her compete against other college students. Although she didn’t walk away with money like her other competitors, she at least has a trip to look forward to in the near future.

“It was a really cool experience,” Jacoby said. “I would recommend everyone do it, given the chance.”