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Penn State Alum Appears On Wheel Of Fortune, Donates Earnings To Homeless Shelter

Can I get a…Penn State alum on Wheel of Fortune?

If you checked out Tuesday night’s episode of the popular game show, you met Brian Davis, a Penn State alumnus.

Davis attended Penn State from 2008 to 2013. During that time, he received not only both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting. Today, he lives in Hoboken, New Jersey and works as a pharmaceutical sales representative for Johnson & Johnson.

Though he’s a sales rep by day, Davis is a hardcore Wheel of Fortune fan by night. Davis has spent years working to earn a spot on the game show. He and his friend, Dan Snyder, an anchor for Fox 25 News in Oklahoma City, have dedicated much of their free time since 2015 to working on audition tapes for the show.

The good-hearted nature of Davis’ character clearly shines through his quirky audition tapes.

Eventually, he applied to both the New York City and Brooklyn audition dates for Wheel of Fortune, but was rejected from both. For Davis, however, not all hope was lost. He applied once again and received another invite to audition in New York City.

Unfortunately, he was working in Brazil during the audition date and couldn’t make it.

“I almost quit, but the people of Hoboken encouraged me to keep going and play for the city. I knew what I had to do. So I pleaded with the contestant department and they allowed me to audition in Washington, D.C.,” Davis said. “Once I auditioned in D.C., the rest was history.”

As soon as he got the call, he immediately called his mother and sister to tell them the good news. He took time to let the city of Hoboken know too, reaching out to local news outlets and celebrity to spread the word. After 16 months of waiting for his opportunity to shine, Davis finally appeared on Wheel of Fortune on Tuesday.

While the show only aired last night, Davis had great things to say about hosts Pat Sajak and Vana White.

“Pat Sajak was hilarious and actually encouraged my nonsense on the show. Vanna White is my boo so I already knew we would get along,” Davis said. “She is a beautiful woman and still rocking it at age 62.”

The opportunity was truly a once in a lifetime moment for Davis, who had spent years waiting for his 15 minutes of fame. The feeling of finally achieving his goals was bittersweet.

Davis won $1,000 on Tuesday and donated all of his earnings from the show to the Hoboken Homeless Shelter, which had been his plan from day one. He’s a Hoboken man through and through and stayed by his personal mantra, “Play for the People of Hoboken,” from the start.

“When you do something great you need a driving force behind you in order to continue through the heartache and pain,” Davis said.

In this case, bettering the lives of the less fortunate in his community was something he held near and dear to his heart throughout the entire process. Plus, his company, Johnson & Johnson, promised to match his Wheel of Fortune earnings with an equal donation to the Hoboken Homeless Shelter.

After a long hard battle, Davis finally saw his dreams come true. He thanks his Penn State education for much of this success.

“Rejection after rejection I showed the world my Penn State determination and kept fighting. The city of Hoboken, which is a Penn State-filled city, knew I was coming to put the city on the map,” Davis said.

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About the Author

Emma Dieter

Emma is a senior from the ever-popular "right-outside" Philly area studying labor employment relations and PR. She's also the Student Life editor for Onward State. She has been a Penn Stater from cradle and will continue to bleed blue and white, 'til grave. She loves trashy romance novels, watching Netflix, and crying over cute videos of dogs. If you ever want to talk more with her about how great she is, or simply have other inquiries, feel free to email her at [email protected]

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