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Wheel of Fortune

Wheel of Fortune is a television game show originally devised by Merv Griffin[?], and which runs in local editions around the world. The current American incarnation is hosted by Pat Sajak[?] and Vanna White[?]. Despite the name, WoF is not related to Soldier of Fortune or The Wheel of Time. Instead, it's a glammed-up version of Hangman. Previous hosts of the American edition have included Chuck Woolery[?], Rolf Bernishke[?] and Bob Goen[?]. When the show first aired, the money the contestants won had to be used to shop amongst prizes on the TV show.

The British version has been hosted by Nicky Campbell[?], Bradley Walsh[?], John Leslie[?] and Paul Hendy[?] with Angela Ekeate[?], Carol Smilie[?] and Jenny Powell[?] in turn having co-host's job.

A fill-in-the-blank puzzle is displayed on a grid of video displays in front of the players.

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Three players take turns. On a turn, a player can spin the 24-sector wheel, buy a vowel, or attempt to solve the puzzle.


If the pointer lands on the wheel's "Lose a Turn" space, the player's turn ends. If the pointer lands on "Bankrupt", the player loses all earned cash and prizes, and the player's turn ends. If the pointer lands on a cash value, the player gives a consonant (W and Y count as consonants), and if it exists in the puzzle, the co-host reveals all instances of that letter in the puzzle, and the player receives the cash value multiplied by the number of instances of that letter. (If the letter does not exist, the player's turn ends.) If the pointer lands on a prize, the player gives a consonant, and play progresses in the same manner as for a cash space, except the player receives only the prize.

In many countries, but not the U.S., the contestant gives a word begining with the chosen letter along with it. Hence: "C for Charlie" and "I for indigo".

Buy a Vowel

If a player has at least $250 in cash, he can pay $250 to have all instances of a single vowel (AEIOU) in the puzzle revealed. If the letter does not exist, the player's turn ends. Vowel buying is very common on the U.S. version, but for some reason much rarer in the U.K..

Solve the Puzzle

Once enough letters have been revealed, a player will attempt to read the solution to the incomplete puzzle. If the solution is incorrect, the player's turn ends. Only the player who correctly solves the puzzle pockets the earnings from the round.

Speed-Up Round

Host: "I'll give the wheel a final spin." As the wheel is spinning down: "You give me a letter, and you'll have five seconds to solve the puzzle. Vowels worth nothing, consonants worth" the value of the space on which the pointer lands. In recent seasons, the value is final spin + $1000, to make the last round more meaningful.

Final round

The player with the most winnings is then given a chance to take the grand prize, usually a holiday or car. A final puzzle is put up and the contestant nominates several consonants and a vowel (in the US version the letters R, S, T, L, N and E are automatically nominated). Occurrences of these letters are revealed and the contestant has a small amount of time, but as many guesses as necessary, to solve the puzzle.

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