"Wheel of Fortune" contestant with special needs, Trent, is "a smashing success"

Fans flooded Twitter and Facebook with support, even launching the hashtag #TeamTrent


Prachi Gupta
May 1, 2014 7:10PM (UTC)

Recently, a few "Wheel of Fortune" players have become Internet celebrities (and not the good kind) for their terrible guesses; now, meet Trent, a man with special needs who on Wednesday night impressed viewers with his extensive "Wheel of Fortune" knowledge, quick solves, overall wit and enthusiasm.

Trent, who appeared on the show's 6,000th episode, has been an avid fan since the age of 2, and has always wanted to be a part of the show's history. In a blog post on the "Wheel of Fortune" website, he revealed that he has "applied to be on the show at every opportunity," and when he was finally chosen as a contestant, he studied the show every chance he got, even watching reruns and playing the game "on every available platform as often as possible."

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And his knowledge showed. He even recalled a retired category, "Megawords," which host Pat Sajak remembered to be "the worst category" to have ever appeared on the show. While Trent was quick to solve "A Smashing Success" and "Cream Cheese Coffee Cake," however, he didn't have much luck with his spins, landing on "Bankrupt" a few too many times.

Regardless, fans flooded social media with support, launching a #TeamTrent hashtag on Twitter. On Facebook, one commenter wrote, "I absolutely loved the show tonight! I am the mom of a son with Autism and I was so glad you had a contestant with special needs. He was just great and so enthusiastic about playing. Everyone at the show should be proud of what you did tonight!" Another said, "Tonight's show with Trent has to be my all time favorite. Thank you so much for making what seemed to be, his ultimate dream come true."

"I want to thank all of the contestant staf [sic] for taking the time to help me, and would like to thanks Pat Sajak for his assistance, as well," Trent wrote. "I have some physical challenges that they were aware of and they made sure I was safe and comfortable."

The episode was taped on Feb. 27, and even though he didn't get to talk to Vanna White, Trent called it "one of the BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE!"

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Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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