LIU Post Grad Student ‘Solves the Puzzle’
Speech-language pathology major Laura Bennett of Coram, N.Y. wins more than $50K on ‘Wheel of Fortune’; show airs same day she took (and passed) her state license exam
Morgan Lyle,Assistant Director of Public Relations
LIU Post, Long Island University
Brookville, N.Y. -- In the first year of her master’s degree program in speech-language pathology at LIU Post, Laura Bennett used to play a little “Wheel of Fortune”-type game with clients at the J.M. Ladge Speech and Hearing enter.
“I incorporated some ‘Price is Right’ games too,” the 24-year-old Coram, N.Y. resident said. “It was great for working on the clients’ receptive and expressive skills, and it was a lot of fun, too.”
Little did Bennett know that a year later, she would be a contestant on the real “Wheel of Fortune” and rack up $50,000 in prizes. What’s more, the show aired on April 29 – the same day she took and passed her exam for New York State licensure.
“During one of the commercial breaks, I told Pat Sajak and Vanna White the show would air on the day I take my exam,” Bennett said. “They said, ‘Hopefully this is a good sign.’”
Bennett also impressed the shows’ hosts with her command of sign language, which she mastered in her undergraduate days at SUNY Geneseo and also studied as part of her master’s program. At her audition for the show in Brooklyn, she recalled ordering drinks in sign language from one of her classmates who had a job tending bar. During the “Wheel of Fortune” taping at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on March 15, she demonstrated how to sign “a-e-i-o-u.”
Puzzles Bennett solved on “Wheel of Fortune” included “Roasted Macadamia Nuts” in the Prize Round, “Spectacular Skyscrapers” in the Bonus Round and “Howling with Laughter,” in the category “What Are You Doing?”, in the Bonus Round. Her total winnings were $50,650.
Bennett will complete her degree program this summer and her degree will be formally conferred in September, but she will participate in LIU Post’s 55th Commencement exercises Friday, May 10, 2013.
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