Andrew Bassan '13 has two reasons to feel fortunate: 

  1. Two months ago, Bassan and his wife, Amelia, a UW grad, welcomed a new baby, Grayson.
  2. Less than two weeks later, he taped an episode of "Wheel of Fortune," which aired Monday, Jan. 15, 2024. He solved the most puzzles and placed second, winning $10,200. 

"I had this huge, incredible life event, and then days later, I was flying off to Los Angeles to have this other incredible life event," Bassan said.

Promotional photo of Andrew Bassan for game show

The 35-year-old works for the civil litigation defense firm Kiernan Trebach in Washington, D.C., and lives nearby in Maryland. 

He grew up in the state as a fan of many television game shows and watches "Wheel of Fortune" every day. He used to play the game for fun on the computer and on a hand-held version. 

About two years ago, Bassan applied to be on the show.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be on it," he said, though he wanted to try to prove that he could.   

He didn't hear back for over a year, until he got an email last March to audition via Zoom.

When he got the call to be on the show, "my wife and family were super supportive of me to live this dream," which he called a "far-fetched Hail Mary."

He traveled to California with his father-in-law and his grade-school friend, Henry, and had an "incredible time," even if he can't remember all of the details amid the excitement and exhaustion. 

Bassan added that he has fond memories of his time in Madison a decade ago.

"I was born and raised in Baltimore,” he said. “I never thought I would leave the East Coast but decided to apply to Big 10 schools, visited, fell in love and thought 'I can do this.' I was 21 and went out there knowing no one. I grew so much and went outside my comfort zone. I made great friends there and still play fantasy football with some of them today."


Submitted by Law School News on January 16, 2024

This article appears in the categories: Alumni