Nearly as far back as he can remember, Keenan Souve would sit with his mom each night and watch Wheel of Fortune.
The civil engineering junior continued solving puzzles through high school, telling his mom that one day he’d be right there competing against the other contestants.
This February, he made good on that promise, traveling to Culver City, California alongside his fellow college students from across the country.
“The first person I called after learning I’d been selected was my mom,” Souve said. “She was freaking out over the phone, I could hear her jumping up and down. We we’re both pretty excited.”
His episode is scheduled to air April 7.
Would-be contestants submit videos explaining who they are and why they would make good contestants on the show. Souve speculates that it was his calm demeanor that won over producers and netted him the spot.
In spite of his cool and collected nature, he was taken aback by how frantic his mind was during the taping.
“I’ve watched for years and years and I was thinking it would be just as easy as watching, but it definitely wasn’t,” Souve said.
Remembering the instructions of show staff as well as thinking over the clues was trying. Fortunately, host Pat Sajak proved a calming presence, urging contestants to focus on the puzzles.
While he won’t be able to host a large watch party as he’d planned, he is still looking forward to watching with his parents next month. He expects his roommate will appreciate the end of hours of Souve watching old episodes out in their living room to prepare.