After winning big on Wheel of Fortune, contestant Scott Kolbrenner has announced that he's giving away every penny of his earnings to charity. On Thursday night's edition of the popular game show, Kolbrenner emerged as the winner with $145,000 in total earnings. Feeling that the money could be better used elsewhere, Kolbrenner will donate the entire prize evenly between two separate charities.
Speaking with Michael Strahan on Friday's Good Morning America, here's what Kolbrenner had to say when asked why he wanted to give all his prize money away.
"It's been a dark time. When I went on the show, I was doing it for the fun of it. I said to my wife as I went on, 'If I do OK here, anything that I get, let's give it to charity. We're very fortunate. Let's see if we can support some others who aren't as fortunate as we are.'"
Kolbrenner's prize money will be split between the behavioral health treatment providers Uplift Family Services and L.A. Regional Food Bank. In response to the news of Kolbrenner's donation, the former took to Twitter to publicly thank the Wheel of Fortune player for his generosity by tweeting: "We are so honored and grateful that Scott chose to play for us while advocating for our agency's Los Angeles-based Hollygrove programs!"
The L.A. Regional Food Bank also tweeted: "It takes everyone to fight food insecurity. Thank you Scott for your thoughtful donation! Together, #WeFeedLA."
Meanwhile, Kolbrenner's own friends and family were just as shocked as everyone else to see just how much money he had won on the popular game show. On Good Morning America, Kolbrenner detailed how the only person close to him who knew how well he had played was his wife, and the two of them had kept the results secret after the taping. It wasn't until the episode aired on Thursday when everyone heard that Kolbrenner won $145,000, learning soon after that it was all going to charity.
"My kids didn't know. My parents, friends, family didn't know. So it was a complete and utter shock for everybody in our lives," said Kolbrenner. "They were elated about it."
Wheel of Fortune has been hosted by Pat Sajak since 1981 with Vanna White serving as the hostess since 1982. The iconic game show has contestants solving word puzzles and spinning a large wheel to win cash and prizes. For decades, the game show has been a mainstay on weekly television, and despite recent controversy over seemingly mocking a guest, Sajak is signed on as host until 2022. Sajak and White also hosted the spinoff Celebrity Wheel of Fortune that premiered on ABC in January, with celebrity contestants competing for their selected charities.
Kolbrenner's earnings will go to Uplift Family Services, which you can learn more about at their official website, and the same also goes for the L.A. Regional Food Bank. Hopefully, this generous act will help inspire others to similarly help others in need of assistance. This news comes to us from Good Morning America.