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published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Local's quest to be millionaire airs Friday
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
AVON PARK -- A former Walker Memorial Academy student, who has gone on to achieve much academic success on the undergraduate and graduate level in college, was recently chosen as a contestant on the well-known game show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire."
Hans Von Walter's appearance on "Millionaire" will be broadcast on WTOG Channel 44 at 9 a.m. Friday. Local listings can be found at http://dadt.com/millionaire/listings/
Von Walter attended Walker Academy from kindergarten through 10th grade before transferring to a boarding school in Georgia his final two years of high school.
The biochemistry major has accomplished a number of great things over the past few years including acceptance into medical school at Loma Linda University in California in addition to finishing third in the 2010 college tournament on "Jeopardy!"
Von Walter will now take the spotlight on the other longtime favorite game show that will showcase his knowledge of pop culture, history, geography and random trivia for a chance to win $1 million.
The cash will definitely come in handy for the first-year medical student, who has racked tens of thousands of dollars in debt due to his studies.
The student studies trivia regularly and after his appearance on Jeopardy, Von Walter has made his way into a "trivia group" with close-knit ties to the show's all-time winningest contestant, Brad Rutter, and other trivia enthusiasts in Los Angeles.
Von Walter will take the stage of "Millionaire" looking quite different than he did on Jeopardy. After much hard work, Von Walter has lost close to 60 pounds and is working to maintain his healthy lifestyle.
"Losing the weight has all kind of culminated in being on the show, so it was a great time to be on TV," said Von Walter.
Von Walter's episode was filled Aug. 28. The past two months have been a whirlwind of emotions for the contestant, who has been "sitting on the show" and holding information.
He was unable to discuss his winnings prior to the show airing, but did reveal that he went into "Millionaire" with his own personal goal.
"I kind of had a semi goal in my head. I wanted to beat my Jeopardy wins, which was $25,000. It's kind of like a runner having a personal best in a relay or run," Von Walter said.
Plans have already been made for the cash Von Walter wins on "Millionaire."
"If I won a big chunk (of money) it will go to my loans, if I won big. If I win a little it will just go to normal stuff. Things for my mom and my apartment and gas," Von Walter said with a laugh. "Gas is really expensive out here. Right now it's $4.67 a gallon. I bike to class."
Family members and friends joined Von Walter at the "Millionaire" set in New York City where he took on the questions. Von Walter described "Millionaire" host Meredith Vieira as "sweet and helpful," but admitted to being quite taken aback by the experience.
"With this one (Millionaire), it's more of a personal attempt, a personal accomplishment. On Jeopardy, I was representing my school and there was a lot of school spirit and support there," Von Walter explained. "It was an extremely memorable experience and a complete rush. I was a bundle of nerves and it's going to be odd to watch myself on TV but I am very thankful for the opportunity."
How did he do? (by: Shutt - 10/31/2012)
How did he do on the show?
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