"For $154, I'll take the Ceramic Dalmatian!"
April 30, 2015 5:09 PM   Subscribe

As a contrast to this thread, here's an article on what it's like to be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune.
posted by DRoll (14 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Not a huge Wheel fan, but I enjoy watching it while waiting for Jeopardy to come on right after it (at least where I live). That said, I love these sort of behind the scenes articles that let me vicariously experience something that I never will in real life. Great post title, too!
posted by TedW at 7:09 PM on April 30, 2015


As a wee lad, I was a whiz at Wheel -- watched it as often as I could. And I always groaned when they took the giant ceramic dog.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:41 PM on April 30, 2015


I think they had to keep spending until they didn't have enough money left to buy anything in the room.
posted by LionIndex at 7:48 PM on April 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I hate Wheel of Fortune because I'm so pathetically bad at it. I kill at Jeopardy but I seriously can't guess a word with one letter missing. I'll look at "_anana" and think "fanana?". No. "tanana?" Fuck it, I give up.
posted by octothorpe at 7:58 PM on April 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


I stopped watching Wheel of Fortune when I was 13, after our girl guide troop went to see it (the NZ version, obviously) being filmed in Wellington. I was so excited I took a photo while we were waiting for it to start, just of the stage set-up, and one of the people in charge confiscated my camera and exposed my roll of film (yes, I'm old), to make sure I couldn't keep that picture, because it violated some secrecy pact or somesuch. And the film also had a whole bunch of photos from all sorts of other important events, which I lost too.
posted by lollusc at 8:23 PM on April 30, 2015


Would you like that on account or gift certificate?
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 9:43 PM on April 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think they had to keep spending until they didn't have enough money left to buy anything in the room.

Indeed, they did. I recall a contestant arguing with Pat Sajak once that he/she absolutely didn't want the one item left that he/she could afford. Pat's response was something along the lines of, "you have to take it but no one said you had to keep it."
posted by dances with hamsters at 5:37 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am floored -- I had no idea this show still aired. I stopped watching it in the 80s, myself.
posted by Annabelle74 at 6:42 AM on May 1, 2015


I miss Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford. (said immediately without having to look up their names.)
posted by Melismata at 7:04 AM on May 1, 2015


I always wondered why contestants didn't start with the dalmatian, continuing always buying the cheapest thing remaining. That way when you run out of things to buy, you have a much bigger chance of a lot of cash remaining.
posted by Hubajube at 7:29 AM on May 1, 2015


You didn't get actual cash, though. It went on account (added to your shopping budget in the next round), or toward a gift certificate of some sort. Since you had to buy prizes anyway, buy things you'd actually want.
posted by themanwho at 8:13 AM on May 1, 2015


It always boggles my mind that Vanna is still around. In the early days of the show, the letters were mounted on physical blocks, and she did literally need to walk over to them to turn them around. Several years ago, they all got replaced by screens, eliminating the need to have her there at all. Now, when a letter is highlighted, she walks over and appears to press a button, but it's obvious that's a fake-out - because when a puzzle is solved, all of the letters reveal themselves simultaneously. She is purely there for sex appeal now, with no pretense of actually doing anything.

(Yes, I guess I watch this show too much. But you have to allow yourself the small pleasures, like always guessing the puzzle way before the imbeciles on the stage and screaming "THAT MONEY IS RIGHTFULLY MINE!" at the screen while the kids pretend not to notice that their old man is a dork.)
posted by jbickers at 8:19 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


You didn't get actual cash, though. It went on account (added to your shopping budget in the next round), or toward a gift certificate of some sort. Since you had to buy prizes anyway, buy things you'd actually want.

And then to keep the cash in the account you had to win, right?

I've sort of had a sore spot about WoF since those early days when an old lady uncovered all the letters to the puzzle "TATUM O'NEAL" and, clearly not knowing who it was, solved the puzzle but mis-pronounced her first name with a short a sound (TAH-tum), which the judges ruled an incorrect answer.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:16 AM on May 1, 2015


She is purely there for sex appeal now, with no pretense of actually doing anything.

I agree it's visual comfort food, but I don't know if it's for sex appeal anymore. If you fired Vanna I would predict the outcry would not come from the male viewship, but the older demographics of both genders that are just used to seeing her there.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:45 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


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