Long Island siblings shine on ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ honor their late mom


Being invited to compete with his kid sister on “Wheel of Fortune” blew Tom Krisa away. Finding out the appearance was on the Port Jefferson Station siblings’ mother’s birthday was a truly remarkable moment.

“If that isn’t a sign, I’m not sure what is,” Krisa said on social media this week. “Her favorite show, her two children, on her birthday. I’m telling you, she pulled some serious strings with that one.”

The Sept. 27 “Wheel of Fortune” episode featuring Krisa and his younger sister Valerie Reynolds appearing together as contestants will air nationally — and locally on ABC7 — on Friday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m., as part of the show’s “Home for the Holidays” week.

Growing up, the ABC-TV game show was a staple in the Krisa household. Tom Krisa and his younger sister, Valerie Reynolds, watched the program religiously with their mom, “calling out the letters and cheering on the three total strangers on the TV screen,” Krisa said in a Facebook post.

“It was ours and our mother’s favorite after-work pleasure,” he wrote. “We would watch it every night together, We didn’t know it then, but those memories would be something we would look back on so fondly today.”

Greenlawn resident competed on the ‘Weakest Link’ game show on NBC.

Krisa said he applied in February 2022 to be on the show, but understood that the odds of actually making it to Los Angeles and getting a chance to spin the big wheel were astronomical.

“Over 1,000,000 people applied to be on the show this year, and only 600 were selected to play,” he stated.

Thirteen months after applying, Krisa was invited to audition for the show.

“I went through the entire process and was told I was being considered. The days turned to weeks, to months and eventually I received an email that they wanted to know if I had a partner to re-audition with as a team for a special episode,” the avid New York Rangers fan wrote in his Facebook announcement.

With no hesitation, he picked his sister.

“A few days later, my sister joined me on an audition and we joked the entire time that Mom would have loved that we were doing this together,” he said.

Five weeks after their audition, they received an email from producers with their tape date.

“Please tune in … to watch my sister and I play our hearts out in honor of our mom and know that miracles do exist,” Krisa posted. “Will we do well? Will we fall flat? You have to tune in and see! You don’t want to miss this.”

More than a dozen Long Islanders have competed on “American Idol.”

8 O’Clock Shot support

Krisa was so excited about the “Wheel of Fortune” appearance that he posted the news item in Facebook’s 8 O’Clock Shot group.

“Alright Shotters, I don’t post much, I’m more of a watcher here but this is some cool, fun news,” he wrote. “Played on Wheel of Fortune in September and our episode airs a week from Friday… Tune in and have a drink!”

Long Island teacher competed on “Wheel of Fortune” and “Beat Shazam.”

More than 1,200 group members have reacted favorably to his post.

“My mom watches this show every day I’ll watch this one with her,” group member Ann Marie Rumplick wrote in the comments section of the post.

Embed from Getty Images

Top photo: Facebook/via Tom Krisa

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