Spin the Wheel of Fortune

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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is the name of the current host of Wheel of Fortune?

What is the purpose of the titular Wheel of Fortune in the game show?

What was the purpose of the Free Spin wedge in the original version of Wheel of Fortune?

What was the purpose of the progressive Jackpot wedge in Wheel of Fortune?

Which network originally aired the daytime version of Wheel of Fortune?

What is the name of the touring staged production show based on Wheel of Fortune?

What is the name of the custom-designed Winnebago recreational vehicle used for Wheel of Fortune auditions?

Who composed the original theme for Wheel of Fortune?

What is the name of the current executive producer of Wheel of Fortune?


Summary of "Wheel of Fortune" TV Show

  • "Wheel of Fortune" is an American television game show created by Merv Griffin that has aired continuously since January 1975.

  • The show features a competition in which contestants solve word puzzles to win cash and prizes determined by spinning a giant carnival wheel.

  • The current version of the series, which airs in nightly syndication, premiered on September 19, 1983, and stars Pat Sajak and Vanna White as hosts.

  • The original version of Wheel was a network daytime series that ran on NBC from January 6, 1975, to June 30, 1989, and subsequently aired on CBS from July 17, 1989, to January 11, 1991.

  • The show has also had four announcers in its history: Charlie O'Donnell, Jack Clark, M. G. Kelly, and Jim Thornton.

  • The syndicated series' 40th season premiered on September 12, 2022, and Sajak became the longest-running host of any game show, surpassing Bob Barker.

  • "Wheel of Fortune" ranks as the longest-running syndicated game show in the United States, with 7,000 episodes taped and aired as of May 10, 2019.

  • The game is based on hangman, and contestants compete to guess all of the unknown words in a word puzzle.

  • The titular Wheel of Fortune is a roulette-style wheel with 24 wedges, most of which are labeled with dollar amounts ranging from $500 to $900.

  • The show has two spin-off versions: "Wheel 2000," a version featuring child contestants, and "Celebrity Wheel of Fortune," which began airing on ABC on January 7, 2021.

  • The final round of every game is always played at least in part as a "speed-up."

  • The winning contestant in the final round advances to the bonus round, where they spin a smaller wheel with 24 envelopes to determine the prize.History and Evolution of Wheel of Fortune

  • The shopping element was eliminated from the syndicated version on October 5, 1987, to speed up gameplay and alleviate taxes for contestants.

  • Before toss-up puzzles in 2000, the contestant at the red arrow always started the first round.

  • The Free Spin wedge was replaced in 1989 with a single Free Spin token placed over a selected cash wedge. Free Spin was retired in 2009.

  • Between September 16, 1996 and 2013, the show featured a progressive Jackpot wedge, which began at $5,000 and had the value of every spin within the round added to it.

  • The network version allowed champions to appear for up to five days originally, which was later reduced to three.

  • Before December 1981, the show did not feature a permanent bonus round. However, two experimental bonus rounds were attempted before then.

  • Chuck Woolery was the original host of Wheel of Fortune, and Pat Sajak replaced him on December 28, 1981.

  • Susan Stafford was the original hostess, and Vanna White replaced her in December 1982.

  • Sajak and White have starred on the syndicated version continuously as host and hostess, respectively, since it began, except for very limited occasions.

  • Charlie O'Donnell was the program's first and longest-tenured announcer.

  • Jack Clark replaced O'Donnell, but after his death, M. G. Kelly became his replacement until O'Donnell returned to the announcer position.

  • Maggie Sajak (Sajak's daughter) joined the show as a special correspondent, making appearances similar to the "Clue Crew" on companion program Jeopardy!, in September 2021.Overview of "Wheel of Fortune"

  • Wheel of Fortune has had four main hosts: Chuck Woolery, Pat Sajak, Rolf Benirschke, and Bob Goen.

  • The show employs approximately 100 in-house production personnel, with 60 to 100 local staff joining them for episodes taped on location.

  • Wheel of Fortune is owned by Sony Pictures Television, and the rights to distribute the show worldwide are owned by CBS Media Ventures.

  • The show has had various set changes since its premiere in 1983, including a redesigned wheel mechanism and a computerized puzzle board composed of 52 touch-activated monitors.

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, the show suspended production and when it resumed, new episodes taped without studio audiences with only essential staff and crew allowed onstage.

  • The show's original theme was composed by Alan Thicke and was titled "Big Wheels"; it was replaced by Merv Griffin's own composition, "Changing Keys," in 1983.

  • Anyone at least 18 years old has the potential to become a contestant through Wheel of Fortune's audition process, which includes a custom-designed Winnebago recreational vehicle called the "Wheelmobile" to travel across the United States, holding open auditions at various public venues.

  • The original Wheel of Fortune aired on NBC, in varying time slots between 10:30 am and noon, until June 30, 1989, and the daily syndicated nighttime version of Wheel premiered on September 19, 1983.

  • On August 1, 2019, Harry Friedman retired as executive producer of both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, and was replaced by Mike Richards at the start of the 2020–21 season; Richards was subsequently fired on August 31, 2021.

  • On March 23, 2022, Bellamie Blackstone was announced to be a permanent executive producer for Wheel of Fortune.

  • The show's various directors have included Jeff Goldstein, Dick Carson, Mark Corwin, Bob Cisneros, and Robert Ennis.

  • The show has had four announcers: Jack Clark, Charlie O'Donnell, M. G. Kelly, and Jim Thornton.

  • The show typically employs a total of 100 in-house production personnel, with 60 to 100 local staff joining them for those episodes that are taped on location.The Popularity and Legacy of Wheel of Fortune

  • Wheel of Fortune began as a daytime game show in 1975, created by Merv Griffin.

  • The show was initially carried by only nine stations, but by 1984 it was available to 99% of television households.

  • Wheel of Fortune became the highest-rated syndicated television series in history, with over 40 million people watching five nights per week.

  • The show has become America's longest-running syndicated game show, and has awarded over $200 million in cash and prizes to contestants.

  • Wheel of Fortune has been adapted in over 40 countries worldwide, with occasional special episodes celebrating these international variants.

  • In 1997-1998, a children's version of the show titled Wheel 2000 aired on CBS and Game Show Network.

  • In November 2020, a prime time spin-off show titled Celebrity Wheel of Fortune was ordered by ABC, and has since been renewed for three seasons.

  • Wheel of Fortune has been highly regarded in the world of game shows, ranking among the greatest game shows of all time according to TV Guide and GSN.

  • A Wheel of Fortune hall of fame is part of the Sony Pictures Studios tour, featuring memorabilia related to the show's syndicated history.

  • Numerous board games and video games based on Wheel of Fortune have been released by different toy companies.

  • Wheel of Fortune has been licensed for use in slot machines, with over 200 slot games based on the show created since 1996.

  • In March 2023, BetMGM launched a Wheel of Fortune online casino in New Jersey, in partnership with IGT.

  • In May 2022, a touring staged production show titled Wheel of Fortune Live! was announced, produced by Right Angle Entertainment in partnership with Sony and United Talent Agency.


Test your knowledge of one of America's most beloved game shows with the "Wheel of Fortune" quiz! From its history and evolution to its iconic hosts and set changes, this quiz will challenge you with questions about all things "Wheel of Fortune." Whether you're a die-hard fan or a casual viewer, see how much you really know about this long-running game show and its pop culture legacy.

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