You may have watched your fair share of the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ over the years, but you are never truly witnessing all that goes on during the show, before the show or after the show!
Here are some things that you probably didn’t know about the long time running popular show, the ‘Wheel of Fortune’!
1. The ‘wheel’ looks bigger on TV
I guess it’s true about what they say, TV adds a few pounds! The wheel is only six feet in diameter, now sure that’s big…not it looks so much bigger on TV due to the creative angels the cameramen use.
The entire thing weighs 2,400 pounds, and it’s full of electronics including 200 lights that can shine in 2 million colors.
The classic ‘click-click-click’ sounds is very real too! The wheel is equipped with 73 stainless steel pins that hit the dial as it spins around! The entire set ways over 1-million pounds and takes 14-trucks to move when the show goes on the road!
2. The wheel is not rigged.
Over the years there has been a conspiracy theory that host Pat Sajak has a foot brake which will stop the wheel where he wants. This theory came about after viewers noticed that during the shows ‘final spin’ where Sajak himself spins the wheel – the wheel never lands on bankrupt or lose a turn.
Well folks, sorry to burst your bubble! As neat as it would be to find out that there has been a massive conspiracy going over for decades, it’s just not true. The truth is, the wheel does land on bankrupt and lose a turn during the final spin. Editors simply edit that out for timing purposes.
3. The hosts used to get drunk before taping the show!
Both Pat Sajak and Vanna White have openly admitted that in the early days of taping the show, they would often times enjoy one, two, three or four or more margaritas at a nearby Mexican restaurant before taping the show.
Vanna and I would […] come and do the last shows and have trouble recognizing the alphabet,” Sajak remembers. “I had a great time. I have no idea if the shows were any good, but no one said anything, so I guess I did okay.”
4. Vanna is a Guinness World Record holder
Vanna White holds the Guinness World Record for “Television’s Most Frequent Clapper.”. Vanna is always clapping after each spin of the wheel, after she’s completed the turning of the letters and after a puzzle is solved. Vanna claps roughly 28,000 times per season.
5. The Wheel and Jeopardy! hosts switched places once
April Fool’s Day, Alex Trebek and Sajak’s wife Lesly Brown hosted a special charity episode of Wheel, while Pat hosted the popular quiz show.
If Sajak has an issue with his voice, Vanna and he will often switch roles in order to keep the shows taping schedule.
6. Pat and Vanna only work 4 days each month
The duo usually tape 5 or 6 episodes in a row, typically only working one day per week. Vanna still shows up early to get her hair and makeup done, while Sajak doesn’t worry about his job that much!
“It’s the closest thing you can do in pretending you have a full-time job,” he said. “In dog years I’ve only done this show about nine years.”
7. There’s a “dummy board” to help the contestants
If players need help remembering which letters have been guessed already, A helpful screen shows them. There’s another screen for Pat which tells him how many of each letter are in the puzzle. Originally, this was the job of an intern who held a finger for each letter (so two fingers for “two Bs”).
8. Pat and Vanna share a favorite blooper
There have been hundreds of odd moments that Pat and Vanna have shared over the years regarding contestants, but one stands out to the both of them as the best blooper of all time!
Another favorite Vanna remembers is one player trying to solve “GONE WITH THE WIND” with the very inappropriate “DONE WITH ONE HAND.”
9. Players all start the game on equal footing
Ever notice how all players appear to be the exact same height? Clearly contestants are all different heights, so that’s why there is a platform which raises and lowers that each contestant stands on!