‘Wheel of Fortune’: Contestant Donates All of His Massive Winnings to Charity

by Quentin Blount
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A lifelong Wheel of Fortune fan, Scott Kolbrenner was able to live out his dream on Thursday night’s March 18 episode.

The Hewlett, New York native was chosen as a contestant after he applied by video on wheeloffortune.com and going through a virtual audition process. After officially being selected, he would have more than content just participating on his favorite show. But Scott Kolbrenner did more than just that. He walked away as the winner of the March 18 episode and $145,000.

At first, it looked like Kolbrenner would be going home with approximately $45,000 in cash after the regular rounds of play. However, he promptly got the bonus puzzle correct and added the grand prize of $100,000 to his total.

The official Wheel of Fortune Twitter account shared the awesome moment in a short, two-minute clip that can be viewed below.

“🚨Yep, you heard that right: Scott just won $100,000! 🚨” Wheel of Fortune wrote. “See the INCREDIBLE moment right here! 👀”

‘Wheel of Fortune’ Winner Donates to Charity

And if just simply winning wasn’t a cool enough experience, Scott Kolbrenner vowed to give every penny of his winnings to two charities near and dear to his heart.

“Scott has pledged to donate all of his winnings to Uplift Family Services and L.A. Regional Food Bank!” Wheel of Fortune wrote in another tweet. “Way to give back! What a generous gesture! Such good fortune all the way around.”

All of Kolbrenner’s winnings will go to the two charities mentioned in the tweet — the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank and Uplift Family Services at Hollygrove. The L.A. Food Bank sources and works to acquire food and other products for those who are in need.

Meanwhile, as a current resident of Encino, California, Kolbrenner has worked in the past with Uplift Family Services. They are well-known as one of the top comprehensive behavioral health treatment providers in the state. He spends a lot of his time volunteering there in addition to serving as a board member.

“It’s been a dark time. When I went on the show, I was doing it for the fun of it,” Kolbrenner told Michael Strahan Friday on Good Morning America. “I said to my wife as I went on, ‘If I do OK here, anything that I get, let’s give it to charity. We’re very fortunate. Let’s see if we can support some others who aren’t as fortunate as we are.'”

And finally, besides for telling his wife, Kolbrenner left it as a surprise for everyone else in his life.

“My kids didn’t know. My parents, friends, family didn’t know,” he explained. “So it was a complete and utter shock for everybody in our lives. They were elated about it.”

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