Mehlville alum competes on show ‘You Bet Your Life’

“Game show geek” will shoot for Pyramid next

Alex+Braun

Photo by Dan Lane Williams

Alex Braun

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

The game show “You Bet Your Life” had St. Louis representation March 5 as Mehlville High School graduate Alex Braun competed on the quiz show.

The show focuses on two contestants who have only met each other just before taping, and their interactions with co-hosts Jay Leno and Kevin Eubanks. Contestants answer quiz questions together and can win thousands in prizes.

Braun, a self-proclaimed “game show geek,” is a game show veteran, having competed on “Wheel of Fortune” in 2006, walking home with $6,000 in winnings. 

“I’m just a competitive person, so the minute I turned 18 I was hellbent on getting on Wheel of Fortune,” Braun said. “Pretty much any of the wordplay game shows are my wheelhouse.”

Braun heard the producers of You Bet Your Life were looking for “normal people with an interesting story,” so despite his preference for wordplay games he applied to compete. The selection process included an interview where producers ask for any interesting stories that can be used during the show. Braun went with his membership in the Vintage Vacuum Cleaner Collectors Club, and his experience wrestling at a bar in St. Louis.

When Braun found out he had been selected, he was elated.

“I had been after my second game show for the past five years. I have tried out for $100,000 Pyramid at least three times, I’ve tried out for Match Game twice, I’ve tried out for Card Sharks three times, I’ve been to nine Price is Right tapings,” Braun said. 

The game show enthusiasts’ visit to You Bet Your Life didn’t go quite as well as when he was on Wheel of Fortune, but Braun still walked away with about $750 worth of prizes and his second game show experience. Braun and his partner Laurie earned $2,750 dollars going into the double or nothing question, and Braun decided it was worth a shot to double their money.

“You live only once, let’s do it,” he said on the show.

The final question was about Martin Scorsese’s first best director Oscar — “The Departed” -— which Braun and Laurie did not know.

“We were a little bit bummed when we missed the double or nothing question, so I will probably be binge watching Martin Scorsese films this weekend,” Braun said.

The duo did not walk away empty handed however, as Leno helped prompt Braun to say the secret word, “hot”, and earn $500 guaranteed for them to split. They also received a complimentary prize in the form of a cooking set, which Braun said is worth about $500.

Braun is now on his quest for game show appearance number three. Currently, he is ineligible for any show until March 2023.

“The general rule of thumb is that you can only be on one game show a year, and generally no more than three in a 10-year period,” he said. “I have been after ($100,000 Pyramid) now since 2017. That’s the one I want to go for in the worst way.”