Virginia Beach 8th Grader Competes on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”

A photo from the production of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” on July 11, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada, with host Chris Harrison.
Photo credit: Ronda Churchill – Disney/ABC Home Entertainment and TV Distribution.

Tyler Fritz , an eighth grader at Landstown Middle School in Virginia Beach, just gained national attention for using his noggin.

Wednesday, Tyler competed on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire- Whiz Kids Week.” Where kids eight to fifteen years old compete for a chance to win the grand prize of $1,000,000.

Tyler used to compete on the Academic Challenge team at his school and decided to take it up a notch and try out for a national game show. At first, he tried to get on Jeopardy, but was too young. The staff from Jeopardy then told him to try out for a different show.

“They emailed my Dad, and suggested I contact who wants to be a Millionaire,” said Tyler.

After nailing his audition, Tyler and his father Todd were flown out to Las Vegas in July of 2017, to compete on the show. Initially, Tyler was excited until it was time to for the camera’s to start rolling.

“I was thinking, oh my goodness. This is actually happening. There’s going to be millions of people watching me,” said Tyler.

But those nerves wouldn’t last long.

“I get on the show and the host, Chris Harrison is one of the nicest people in the world. I ended up feeling real good about being there. It was awesome,” said Tyler.

A photo from the production of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” on July 11, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada, with host Chris Harrison.
Photo credit: Ronda Churchill – Disney/ABC Home Entertainment and TV Distribution.

Tyler ended up winning $5,000.

“I needed to work on math. It was a math question that knocked me out. If I got it right I would’ve got $20,000 but I ended up only getting $5,000,” said Tyler.

Even though he wanted to win more money, Tyler said the ultimate prize was the love and support he received from his family and friends.

“At first I felt like everyone was going to call me a nerd. But when the show aired, I found out everyone in the class recorded me and were cheering me on. If felt good to be accepted and that I’m able to get through anything,” said Tyler.

He encourages other kids to try out for the show. His only advice, come prepared.

“I would say read as much a possible. Be curious about everything. Study every subject. He highly suggest joining an academic challenge team,” said Tyler.

And the million dollar question, would he compete again? Tyler said that’s a no-brainer.


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