CrossingPoints Staff Member Appears on Wheel of Fortune

Christopher Johnson on stage at Wheel of Fortune.
Christopher Johnson on stage at Wheel of Fortune. (Photo credit: Carol Kaelson/Wheel of Fortune®/© 2023 Califon Productions, Inc. ARR.)

Christopher Johnson, a paraeducator in the CrossingPoints Tier 1 Program and a Tuscaloosa native, recently appeared on the game show Wheel of Fortune where he earned $1,000.

He shared some insight into his experience – and no puzzle to solve here – he would do it all again.

Tell us a little bit about your audition process for Wheel of Fortune. 

I submitted my application in late February of 2023 and I received an email in April inviting me for a quick Zoom interview, which took place April 28. During the Zoom interview, the producer asked me a couple of questions and then moved me to the second round of the process.

My last round was May 2, a day before my birthday so I was really excited! I was a little nervous and I knew this would be the deciding audition because I was playing a mini-game with three other potential contestants. After that they said if there was anything else they needed they would contact me.

I felt like I didn’t do a good job playing with the other potential contestants, but I received an email at the close of the school year in May telling me I had been chosen to compete during Teachers Week.

Christopher Johnson
Christopher Johnson

When did you film your episode and what was that like? 

I filmed in Hollywood on July 27 and the whole experience was so surreal and happened so fast. We had to be at the studio at 7 a.m. They film six episodes a day and I was on the third episode.

The filming of the show only took 20 minutes. The reason we had to be there early was because we had to get hair and makeup done and also meet with representatives to go over the dos and don’ts for before, during and after filming. 

What did you plan to do with your winnings? 

My favorite thing to do is travel, so I’ll be planning that soon.

What was it like to meet Pat Sajak and Vanna White?

Meeting Pat was fun; he is funny! Vanna was out due to COVID-19, so the special guest was California Teacher of the Year Bridgette Donald-Blue.

What did you learn from this experience — any advice you’d give to someone else wanting to try out for the show? Did it make you want to try out for other shows?

I learned a lot from this experience. The advice I would give potential contestants is to have fun! You already did the hard part, which is making it to Hollywood! This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

And yes, I must wait a period before I can audition for another show, but I plan on auditioning for Family Feud and People Puzzler.