Garry Morgan II recently fulfilled a lifelong dream by appearing as a contestant on the popular game show “Wheel of Fortune.”

Morgan, who shared this aspiration with his grandmother, saw the opportunity as a now-or-never moment, particularly with this being host Pat Sajak's last season. 

"The idea of being on the show was something I've always wanted to do," said Morgan, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the veterinary college.

Morgan expressed a love for Disney and said it was a thrill to compete on the Christmas special called the "Disney Secret Santa Holiday Giveaway."

Morgan applied online to be a contestant on the show and then went through an online interview and audition before being accepted.

"The whole process, from applying to actually being on stage, felt surreal," Morgan said. "Seeing Pat Sajak and Vanna White in person and recording in front of a live studio audience was an exhilarating experience."

Morgan was able to interact with the show's iconic hosts. "Pat and Vanna were extremely nice and supportive," he said. "Vanna spoke to us contestants early in the day, and Pat was a quiet, guiding voice throughout the show."

Morgan engaged in activities to sharpen his skills.  

"I love Wordle and Sudoku, which I think help keep my mind flexible," he said. But he added that watching videos of "Amazing Solves" of “Wheel of Fortune” wins on YouTube might not have been the most helpful strategy. "It was probably the worst anxiety-inducing prep that I could have done."

Morgan's appearance on “Wheel of Fortune” is scheduled to air at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, on Roanoke's WDBJ, Channel 7.

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