Coming up on the first Wednesday of April, Texas Woman’s University’s student, Alexa Hoekstra is appearing on “Wheel of Fortune.” Hoekstra, an active participant in the TWU community and often seen working with different organizations across campus, found her way into the show in a strange way.
“I actually found a Facebook ad for “Wheel of Fortune” looking for college students,” Hoekstra said. “The application was a really quick and easy process. I got an email to sign up for auditions. It was about five minutes, and I got pushed to the next round.”
Hoekstra said she has always been interested in game shows because of her family’s love for them.
“My family watches game shows pretty religiously,” Hoekstra said. “We always play Jeopardy together. My meemaw has always been an avid watcher of “Wheel of Fortune” every dinner we had with her we were watching the show.”
Hoekstra’s eagerness to join the Wheel of Fortune team for the episode came from her grandma.
“I saw the ad and immediately thought of her and wanted to get on,” Hoekstra said. “It was so cool getting to fill an item on her bucket list and have her travel with me to the show. She just turned 70 and has always wanted to see a taping of an episode.”
Hoekstra said the process of getting on the show was like a personality test.
“With my second audition, it was more intense,” Hoekstra said. “I was solving puzzles with two other contestants before I had to solve some individually. They told us to ‘smile and show our personality the whole time.’ I guess I did well because I got on the show.”
Before her initial audition, Hoekstra found ways to up her game and train for the game.
“As soon as I found out I had an audition I downloaded the “Wheel of Fortune” app and played it all the time,” Hoekstra said. I also watched old episodes on YouTube to get a better understanding of the rules and game, but I already knew a lot from years of watching.”
Hoekstra is under strict orders not to reveal how the episode went until it airs, but she is eager to find opportunities for other appearances on game shows.
“To be on Jeopardy would be a dream come true,” Hoekstra said. “They have tournaments for college students, too, and I would be excited to do it, but I think I’d need to study more.”
Hoekstra saw the whole event as an opportunity she never thought she would expect to have.
“I learned a good life lesson from this, to just go for it,” Hoekstra said. “Even if you think you have no chance of receiving what you are applying for or what you are striving towards, you never know what opportunity can come. Never in a million years did I think I would end up on “Wheel of Fortune,” but it happened because I saw an opportunity and applied.”
Hoekstra would like to see other people just go for it, even if they do not expect the best outcome.
The TWU community has planned a watch party to support Hoekstra, set to be in the Student Union the night the episode premieres.