If you tuned in to Wheel of Fortune on April 4, you might have seen a familiar face. UCF Pre-Medical student and Biomedical Sciences major Shellyann Tyrell competed on the live game show where contestants solve word puzzles to win cash and prizes. Being on Wheel of Fortune was the chance of a lifetime for the graduating senior, one that came as a huge surprise.
She applied for the game show on a whim in 2014 and forgot about it after not hearing a response for years. Then, in what seemed like a whirlwind of events, she was invited this past February to fly out to California and film for the show during College Week. “It was unreal, a fantasy,” she said.
Shellyann believes she is the first UCF student to compete on Wheel of Fortune, and she was ecstatic to represent the university on a show watched by so many. She started the show off with a bang, guessing the first puzzle correctly with lightning speed and ending the night with over $8,000 in winnings. But the experience went beyond that. Appearing on live television would be nerve-wracking for anyone, especially for the first time. She said the experience pushed her to step out of her shell. “Anyone who knows me knows that I like to be in the background. That was definitely not the case in this situation. I was able to see another side of myself and I enjoyed that the most.”
As for returning to her usual routine of attending classes and taking exams, she knows everything is different now, especially with graduation around the corner. She plans on attending medical school in the future. Pre-Health and Pre-Law Advising Director Dr. Erin Myszkowski was happy to tune in to the show and watch her long-time advisee compete. “It was great to see Shellyann on Wheel of Fortune last night. She is very sharp and we have talked many times about how much she loves learning from her science classes and how she loves to apply what she learns outside of class too – both signs of a good Pre-Medical student. No doubt that the same sharpness and enthusiasm that she portrayed on Wheel of Fortune last night will carry her forward through UCF and beyond,” she said.