Dean Wilson is a former high school principal from Roosevelt, Utah who was hooded during the spring 2019 commencement ceremony for earning his Ed.D. in educational leadership from the University of Wyoming College of Education. A highlight of his life.

He also achieved another highlight in April with his recent appearance on Wheel of Fortune.

“I applied to be on ‘Wheel’ because, as a former high school principal, I always encouraged students and staff to take risks and get outside of their comfort zones,” Wilson said in a statement. “I always have said if you take a moonshot, there are two options: land or learn. I was fortunate enough to land on the show.”

Wilson won $19,250 in cash and $1,000 in prizes during his apprentice. He even made it to the Bonus Round. Unfortunately, he didn't solve that final puzzle but, he had an amazing run of luck earlier in the game.

“I was fortunate to solve a ‘same letter first word’ puzzle that was ‘SIZZLING SIRLOIN STEAK.’ I ended up with the $1,000 wheel prize, hit the wild card and landed on $3,500. I called a letter and got $7,000 because there were two of them, and cashed in my wild card and got another $7,000 for calling another letter that had two as well,” Wilson said.

Pat Sajak said that that was the first time a “same letter first word” puzzle was solved without the first letter present.

A portion of his winnings will go toward supporting suicide prevention, a cause close to his heart. Wilson is the co-founder of the nonprofit organization You Got This, which specializes in suicide prevention and relationship building.

“The experience of being both correct and incorrect on national TV was great,” he says. “I hope people realize it’s OK to not be OK and that your best effort is all anyone can ask for. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”