Chris Scholz’s Wheel Of Fortune

When Chris Scholz got the call to appear on “Wheel of Fortune” last January, he said no.

The Coleytown Elementary School physical education teacher had already used his 2 personal days that year — for his honeymoon.

Fortunately, Chris got called again. This time it was for “Teacher Week” — in July.

He and his wife flew to California — at their expense — for the taping.

Chris Scholz: In it to win it.

Chris Scholz: In it to win it.

Chris’s fascination with “Fortune” dates back to his childhood. He always watched before bedtime.

“I love word games,” he says. So every time he got the chance, he filled out an application to be a contestant.

Last December, he was invited to audition in Brooklyn. There were hundreds of candidates, but the atmosphere was great. Everyone rooted for each other.

“It was nerve-wracking,” he recalls. “You had to talk in front of people. Fortunately, I’m a teacher. I can talk.”

The producers liked what they saw. They called twice. The 2nd time was the charm.

Coleytown El students and staff find a clever way to support their phys. ed. teacher.

Coleytown El students and staff find a clever way to support their phys. ed. teacher.

The California taping was “surreal,” Chris says. The day began at 7:30 a.m., with “the legal spiel.”

Names were pulled from a hat. Chris was chosen for show #4 — to be aired on a Thursday. Able to watch the 1st 3 shows being taped, he felt calm when his time came.

Of course, playing on TV is far different from watching on his couch. “With no pressure, I’m spot on,” Chris laughs. “When we were taping, I realized there would be people at home yelling at me for not knowing the answer.”

It took 45 minutes to tape the half-hour show. During commercial breaks, technicians worked on the wheel. Meanwhile, Vanna White and Pat Sajak — “very funny people” — bantered with the audience.

The bonus round was worth $30,000. Chris answered, “A whole honeydew?” “It was like a question, not an answer,” he says.

But the answer was right. He won — a total of $56,850.

Would you have known the answer was "a whole honeydew"?

Would you have known the answer was “a whole honeydew”?

The show aired last night. Chris was not allowed to tell anyone ahead of time how he’d done. Today, Coleytown El is buzzing with excitement.

Chris is excited too. He and his wife have been renting in Fairfield. Now — with the money for a down payment — they’ll start looking for a house.

On weekends, of course. Unless he has a personal day or 2 left this year.

11 responses to “Chris Scholz’s Wheel Of Fortune

  1. Charlie Greenwald

    Awesome, awesome story… Great job Dan, and great job Chris Scholz. Can’t think of a better guy to have this happen to!

  2. Michelle Saunders

    We are so happy for Chris Scholtz. Both of my boys attended CES and loved being in his phys ed. class. They cheered him on last night. What a wonderful ending for a really great guy!

  3. The Augeri Family

    Congratulations Mr. Scholtz! We were all on the edge of our seats and cheering for you last night. You’re a amazing teacher. The kids love you, and we are thrilled that you had great success!

  4. Helen Lasersohn

    So happy for Mr. Scholz. Our family watched it together and all groaned when he landed on “Bankrupt” on his first spin. It was a nail biter! We were so happy for how well he ended up doing by the end. He was fantastic! Congrats again, Mr. Scholz!!

  5. Cliff Montagna

    Mr. Scholtz is our son’s PE teacher at SES and he’s a wonderful teacher. So glad you did so well Mr. Scholtz – you were amazing and we are so happy for you! The Montagna Family

  6. John McCarthy

    Great news for a great teacher.

  7. Thanks Dan, you sure do have a way with words! I’m excited I was able to share this experience with the CES community, and to represent the hard working teachers of Westport!

  8. Jack Whittle

    Could not have happened to a nicer guy and a great teacher – Mr. Sholtz is one of those special teachers who can really connect with every kid, including both of my children. I know my whole family was glued to the TV last night at 7:30 (I had to settle for watching the recording when I finally got home.)

  9. we love Mr. Scholz too!! so happy for him!!!!!

  10. My mom saw this last night and told me about it today. She was excited to see a Westport teacher on the show and was very happy he did so well. Congrats!

  11. Heidi Kurlander-Kail

    Our entire family watched and cheered Mr. Scholtz, who was already a celebrity in our house! Truly happy for your big win.