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Updated 10:00 AM November 7, 2005




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Dental student takes successful spin on "Wheel of Fortune"

Brett Walcott, a third-year dental student, has many reasons to smile after he recently appeared on the popular television program, "Wheel of Fortune."

Walcott won $54,000 in cash and prizes during the show's "College Week" that aired Oct. 28. He appeared with students from UCLA and the University of Illinois.

"I signed up on their Web site last spring and was then asked to audition with several hundred others at the Detroit Marriott hotel in May," Walcott says. Among the tests was a word puzzle. "They left out a lot of letters and we had to fill in the blanks," he says.

About two weeks later Walcott received a letter advising him he could be called to Los Angeles to tape the program anytime during the next 18 months. "So I was surprised to get a call six weeks later setting a date and time for me to go out there," he says.

Walcott, whose father, Wayne, is a clinical instructor in the School of Dentistry, arrived in Los Angeles Sept.15, a day before the taping. "I had to get up early and be at the studio by six the next morning," he said. "But since I was in the last show, the taping for my program didn't begin until about 4:30 that afternoon."

Walcott won two trips—the first, a two-week trip to the Mediterranean, and the second, a one-week trip to Acapulco. With his cash and prize winnings, Walcott advanced to the bonus round and won a Ford Fusion.

"I'm supposed to receive the car within 120 days of the program airing," he said.

"Everything happened so fast," he said. "Twenty or twenty-five minutes after the program began, it was over."

Asked what he will do with the $17,500 in cash he won, Walcott says some of the money could be pay for his dental education.

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