WASHINGTON, April 15, 2014 – It’s College Week on Wheel of Fortune. During one round, students from Alabama, Indiana and Texas A&M compete for cash and prizes. One young man, Julian Batts, from Indiana University, lands on the big one: One Million Dollars.
Batts is a Hudson and Holland Scholar, a Herbert Presidential Scholar, an honor student and an all-around smart and upstanding young man. He just has a string of bad luck. Nerves? Almost certainly, but maybe he needs to go back to 8th grade, where tales of Achilles and other supermen are told.
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He fills in all the letters on the puzzle, has only to read the solved puzzle: Mythological Hero Achilles. Achilles is pronounced \ə-ˈki-lēz\ — “uh-kill-eez.”
Only he, Batts, said \e-‘chill-es\ — yes, that’s right, “a-chill-es” — and lost the million, sending the puzzle to the Texas A&M player who has either studied her Greek or sports physiology. Which makes one remember this skit from Comedy Central (warning mild language).
Then, Batts has a chance to redeem himself. The puzzle is a person: World’s Fastest _a_. If he gets this one right, he drives back to Indiana in a new car. And that is what he says. “Car.” World’s Fastest Car. The puzzle asked for a “person,” not an object. And the letter r was already on the board in “World’s.” That had to be nerves. Right?
A&M won that round as well (she did not get the million or the car though).
Next Bates gets a puzzle with only a few missing letters, solving “On The Spot Decision” with “On The Spot Dicespin.” Dicespine????
Batts has a great future ahead of him. His attitude rocks. He says in interviews he obviously knows who Achilles is, and we have to assume he knows who and what Superman, is. And he is not letting the social media haters’ hate bother him because he walked away with nearly $12,000 and a great tale of the three that got away.
And on this, April 15th Tax Day, he does not have to write that huge check to Uncle Sam! Plus there is a smart student at Texas A&M who thinks he rocks!
But he left the million — and the car — behind.