St. Cloud State University alumnus Alfredo Oliveira ’14, ’16 earned the opportunity to compete on the game show “Wheel of Fortune,” and ultimately solved four puzzles for a total prize of $6,750.
Oliveira, who earned his bachelor’s in Political Science and master’s in Higher Education Administration from SCSU, said he’s been trying for years to make it onto the popular television show. When auditions were held in Minneapolis in the early 2010s, he auditioned but didn’t make the cut. Fast forward to early 2023, and “Wheel of Fortune” began advertising the option for interested parties to audition online. Oliveira submitted an audition video and eventually completed a Zoom audition before finding out he’d been selected to compete on the show.
“I love the show,” he said. “So I thought, ‘If I don’t put my name out there, I’m never going to be on the show, so let me at least try.’”
Oliveira prepared quite a bit for the show — watching episodes, practicing on crossword puzzles, playing Hangman and going through “Wheel of Fortune” puzzle books he purchased online. None of it compared to actually filming the show in California.
“It was surreal,” he said. “But it was so much fun.”
The set was decorated beautifully for the holidays and the crew was great to work with, Oliveira said, and he enjoyed meeting hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White.
“Vanna said ’This is going to be the fastest 20 minutes of your life, so just make sure you have fun,’ and she was right,” he said. “It was a great experience. I hope people watch, and other people should apply. It’s a great time to be on TV.”
Oliveira lives in Maryland with his husband, and is a program manager for Honors Global Communities in the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at University of Maryland, College Park. He enjoys traveling, competing in marathons, going to the movies and musicals, and photography.
The episode featuring Oliveira aired at 6:30 p.m. CST Monday, Dec. 11 on WCCO Channel 4 in the local St. Cloud area, and was a part of the show’s Disney-themed Secret Santa Week.