How much did he win? Sorry, you'll just have to tune in to find out. Troche said he isn't allowed to reveal his winnings until after the show is broadcast - then it will be public knowledge.
Troche's appearance on Wheel of Fortune is a tribute to perseverance as well as his ability to solve the show's puzzles and do it with flair. Personality is a big factor television producers look for when selecting contestants, an attribute Troche has plenty of.
"I started applying for an audition to the show when I was just 16 years old," he said. He continued to apply and finally was accepted by e-mail on April 17. "Boy was I ever excited when that e-mail arrived," he said.
The audition process was extensive. Troche was among a group of 70 potential contestants who showed up in San Francisco for a shot at appearing on stage with the 'big wheel' in Los Angeles. "We played the game as a group, took written exams and finally, we were interviewed individually after the producers cut the field down to 16 finalists," he said. "It was really quite competitive."
After his audition, he would be forced to wait another two weeks before receiving an acceptance letter that asked for his presence at Sony Studios in LA on Sept. 17.
"I flew to LA with my fan club, parents and friends," Troche said, "It was a long day that started at 7 a.m. with a makeup session and practice rolling the wheel." At 5 feet 3 inches tall, Troche said he had a problem getting enough leverage to turn the 4,000-pound wheel.
"I only rolled it about half way around on my first try," he said with a smile. His fellow contestants were two taller college girls who were able to turn the huge wheel just fine. After the stage crew elevated Troche, he was able to get more leverage and the wheel-turning problem vanished.
"The producers like to run the show like it was live," Troche remembers. "It only took about 30 minutes to actually tape the whole thing, and they did a lot of changes during times when commercials were scheduled to run. It was a great experience and I got to meet a lot of really nice people, not to mention Vanna White and Pat Sajak. I was kind of nervous before the show, but after it began I was fine," Troche admitted.
His high school experiences included performing in choral groups, being selected Mr. Liberty and even winning Liberty Idol. He was also the school's drum major, all of which, helped prepare him for his Wheel of Fortune experience. Troche graduated from Liberty in 2005 and is now a junior at San Francisco State University where he is studying theater and where his Wheel of Fortune winnings will come in very handy, indeed.
His first performance on stage at SFSU was as one of the Jets in the school's production of West Side Story. "It was pretty weird being one of the Jets because, in the play, they're all white guys who rumble with Puerto Ricans. As it turned out, I was the only real Puerto Rican in the whole cast and ended up playing a white guy," Troche recalled. He hopes to attend graduate school and eventually move to New York City where he'd like to pursue a theatrical career.