‘Wheel of Fortune’: ‘College Week’ Contestant Takes Home Massive Cash Prize Solving Final Round Puzzle

by Emily Morgan

One UCLA contestant won big during “College Week” on “Wheel of Fortune.” During Tuesday’s show, Emma Matthew, a San Gabriel, Calif. native and UCLA business major, proved she had wicked good puzzle-solving skills.

Once she made it to the Bonus Round, she left everyone watching at home stunned. Her category was the always-cryptic, “food and drink,” but Matthew had it in the bag.

Pat Sajak told her she had three more consonants and one more vowel with four letters on the board. She threw out the letters: “P-C-H-I.” Unfortunately, she only got to use the “C” and had only 10 seconds to solve. Almost immediately after the clock started, she threw out the phrase “Waffle Cone” and was correct. Smiling from ear to ear, Sajak asked her, “are you curious about this at all?” while opening her winnings envelope.

He opened up the envelope and revealed to the college student that she had won a whopping $45,000. It gets even better: Matthew ended up walking away with a whopping $61,750. “I’m guessing that will come in handy,” Sajak said, to which she jokingly exclaimed, “Little bit!”

In the clip posted by the official Twitter account for “Wheel of Fortune,” many offered their congratulations to the young college student. “Good for you Emma! Way to take that student loan debt down. Very happy for her. She played very well,” one person wrote.

‘Wheel of Fortune Winner Reveals Odd Phobia

Even though Matthew isn’t afraid of any of the board’s daunting puzzles, she did reveal one thing she’s terrified of: squirrels.

“If I were to bring a squirrel in the studio you would..?” Sajak asked Matthew once she revealed her furry phobia. Without skipping a beat, the college brainiac answered, “I would run I’m so afraid of them. They run at me. Nobody believes me, but they do.”

Sajak jokingly responds asking: “You carry nuts in your pocket? Have you ever been attacked by a squirrel?”

To which Matthew, while smiling, answered, “Almost, like three times.”

On Matthew’s Instagram, she hilariously revealed her “Wheel of Fortune” audition tape in which she confessed she has a crush on Sajak because of his “dad jokes.” Two weeks before the episode aired, she posted the clip, adding in the caption that her appearance was “easily the coolest thing” she’s ever done.

“If you’re interested or bored watch me on Wheel of Fortune (College Week) on April 6th! Easily the coolest thing I’ve ever done – swipe to see the awkward audition video that got me on the show! #wheeloffortune.”