Wheel of Fortune (USA)


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Wheel of Fortune (USA)

Wheel of Fortune (often known simply as Wheel[b]) is an American television game show created by Merv Griffin. The show has aired continuously since January 1975. It features a competition in which contestants solve word puzzles, similar to those in hangman, 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. It stars Pat Sajak and Vanna White as hosts, who have hosted the nighttime version since its inception. 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; it returned to NBC on January 14, 1991, and was cancelled that year, ending on September 20, 1991. (The network daytime and syndicated nighttime versions aired concurrently with each other from 1983 until the former’s conclusion.)

The network version was originally hosted by Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford. Woolery left in 1981, and was replaced by Sajak. Sajak left the network version in January 1989 to host his own late-night talk show, while remaining as host of the nighttime Wheel. Sajak was replaced in daytime by Rolf Benirschke, who was in turn replaced by Bob Goen when the network show moved to CBS. Goen remained as host for the second NBC run. Stafford left in 1982 and was replaced by White, who remained on the network show for the rest of its run. The show has also had four announcers in its history: Charlie O’DonnellJack ClarkM. G. Kelly, and Jim Thornton.

Main game

Wheel of Fortune is based on hangman. In each round, three players compete to be the first to guess all of the unknown words in a word puzzle, which is displayed visually on a board containing 52 spaces.[6] At the start of each round, the host reveals the category. In general, puzzles must be read exactly, except for crossword puzzles, which were added to the show in 2016. In such rounds, the host gives a clue linking the words in the puzzle; contestants can win by giving all the words in the crossword in any order, but must not repeat any words or add any additional words.[7] The titular Wheel of Fortune is a roulette-style wheel with 24 wedges. Most are labeled with dollar amounts ranging from $500 to $900, with a top value in each round: $2,500 in round 1, $3,500 in rounds 2 and 3, and $5,000 for round 4 and any subsequent rounds. The wheel also features two Bankrupt wedges and one Lose a Turn wedge. Landing on either forfeits the contestant’s turn, with the Bankrupt wedge also eliminating any cash or prizes the contestant has accumulated within the round.[8]

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