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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Wheel of Fortune

Wheel of Fortune Anniversary

The Wheel of Fortune has been a mainstay in American game show programming for 40 years; the show, which has been hosted by Pat Sajek for its entire run so far, continues to be one of the most popular gameshows on network television. How much do you really know about this popular American game show? Let’s take a look at 5 things you probably didn’t know about The Wheel of Fortune.

The original concept for the show was much different
The original concept for Wheel of Fortune was much different than was ultimately produced. In the original concept for the show, the players didn't win any real cash--instead they won fake money that they could use to buy prizes on the set; essentially, an "adult" version of a carnival or Chuck E. Cheese play place, where fake money was traded in for real items. The name of the show was different, too: Shoppers Bazaar. The test audiences for the original concept of the show hated it, and it was overhauled before airing.

The wheel is really, really heavy
It may seem like contestants are struggling with the wheel for effect and camera time, but the wheel is actually very heavy! The wheel weighs about 2,400 pounds in all!

The wheel is very customizable
There are more than 200 lights installed on the wheel, and each wheel can be highly customized to create more than 2 million different color combinations. The "sound" of the wheel is not computer generated, either; it comes from 73 stainless steel pins that get 'pinged' when the wheel spins.

Vanna White has never repeated a dress
Think you've seen Vanna White's dress before? Think again! The co-host has never repeated a dress worn on the show, and she has worn more than 5,700 gowns as of 2013. Unfortunately, she doesn't get to keep the dresses, which are chosen by the show’s costume team. White has also admitted that some of the dresses have been uncomfortable, such as a few dresses that were too tight to comfortably move around in.

More than one show is taped in a day
Taping the Wheel of Fortune is a full day’s job—not a full week’s! All 5 Wheel of Fortune shows for every week are usually taped on a single day, rather than filming a new episode every day to be aired later. That means 5 costume changes for Vanna White!

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