Game on: Veterinary college boasts ‘Wheel of Fortune’ winner, contestant with ‘Second Chance’ on ‘Jeopardy!’
December 21, 2023
The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine has got game.
Garry Morgan, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the veterinary college, is less than two weeks removed from a “Wheel of Fortune” victory in which he won cash and prizes worth $17,917, including a trip to Walt Disney World.
Karen Morris, Class of 2024 veterinary student, is back on “Jeopardy!” for the Second Chance Tournament. Morris’ return to “Jeopardy!” will be televised in the Blacksburg area on Roanoke’s WDBJ (Channel 7) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night.
Morris first appeared on “Jeopardy!” in March. After leading much of the match, she ended up not advancing -- but now she has a second chance.
“I had hoped for an invite to the Second Chance Tournament but no one knows what the producers will decide, not to mention I wasn't sure if I'd have time in my final year of veterinary school to go to tapings,” said Morris. “When I got the call, I was on an external rotation at a small animal specialty hospital, studying cardiology, so my first thought was how wild my electrocardiogram would look if I hooked up the leads to my heart.”
While Morgan walked away from his “Wheel of Fortune” appearance with a victory and thousands of dollars of prizes, there is one puzzle he would like to have a second chance to solve: “The cold never bothered me anyway,” lyrics from the song “Let It Go” in the movie “Frozen.”
“I had no clue,” Morgan said. “And that's why I kept spinning. My daughter has been getting on me ever since. She’s like, ‘Daddy, how many times have we seen “Frozen”? You should have known.’ “
Morgan did solve phrases like “goose down pillows,” “warming my hands by the fire,” “lunch counter,” and “deli counter” on his way to victory over two other contestants and a berth in the solo bonus round, where the last word of “a private cove” eluded him.
Morgan said the kindness of host Pat Sajak, hostess Vanna White, “Wheel of Fortune” employees, and his group of fellow contestants for the five-show day of shooting carried him through the nervousness that comes with competing on a nationally televised game show. He also said he got “a lot of love” from his veterinary college colleagues.
“It was exciting that I got selected for the show while Pat Sajak is still the host,” Morgan said. Sajak, 76, has hosted the show since 1981 but has said he will retire in 2024. “I got to do the show with ‘the guy’ and with Vanna.”
Unlike “Jeopardy!” which has returning champions daily plus Second Chance and Champions tournaments that bring back prior contestants, “Wheel of Fortune” is “one-and-done” for individual appearances, Morgan said, and he cannot compete on any television game show for the next 10 years.
In the “Jeopardy!” Second Chance Tournament airing this week, the winners of three first-round matches advance to a two-day final for an opportunity to be among the wild cards in the Season 39 Champions tournament.
“Thankfully I've been able to make the taping schedule work, including taking my board exam and my current assignment traveling around the New River Valley with our Production Management Medicine group, treating all kinds of livestock from pet goats to beef bulls,” Morris said.
Morris said she hasn’t settled on a job after graduating in May and is presently “enjoying immersion in all the aspects of vet med that we’re exposed to during our clinical year.”
Unlike her classmates, one of her rotations this year has involved a television studio in California.
“’Jeopardy!’ has been such a fun adventure to add to my veterinary school journey,” Morris said, “I hope Hokie Nation will tune in this week to find out who moves forward in the Second Chance bracket.”