Wheel Of Fortune

Wheel of Fortune box

This audience participation quiz show began as a network daytime telecast  in 1975 and as of 2010 continues as an evening syndicated telecast. This copy of the boxed game was donated to the Museum in 1991.

The telecast game show is based upon an old party word puzzle game in which a player tries to guess a linguistic phrase from a number of minimal letter clues. What makes the telecast different from the original game is that telecast contestants spin a wheel to determine if they can attempt to solve the puzzle and win a large cash prize.  The wheel in question has a range of prize amounts.

Wheel of Fortune Clues

While on the telecast the letter clues appear on a wall screen with a number of electric projections, the game box includes a cardboard representation (photograph on the right). For the box game, one player takes the part of "The TV Host" and indicates with a clue if the mystery phrase is a quotation, a saying, an expression, etc. A card is placed in the top of the board which indicates this information.

The letters are on tiles that can be turned up on the board so the player may view them. Printed instructions with the game, list possible letter combinations that would be used as the first clues. As a player requests that a letter be added to clarify the phrase, "The Host" turns up the appropriate tile if the guess is correct. If the letter selected appears more than once in the phrase - all instances of these letters are exposed. If a player guesses incorrectly, the round passes to another player. As more letters are turned up, the phrase becomes easier for a player to guess.

Wheel of Fortune

The photo at the left is of the "Wheel of Fortune" which is included in the game box. For each letter guess, a player must spin the wheel. If the plastic spinner (in the center) stops on a numeric amount the player proceeds to guess a letter and the game continues.

The player may spin continually each time they guess a correct letter - until they guess the full phrase. In the boxed game they would win the corresponding number of points they had accumulated, while on the telecast they would win cash.

However, not all of the choices on the wheel are rewards - as is the wheel on the telecast. There are spaces to "loose a turn", "free spin", "Bankrupt" (loose all that had been won up to that point in the game).

As can be seen in the photograph, the amounts vary considerably. Thus having the spinner stop pointing to a high number and guessing a correct letter - is desired by each player. Since the spin is completely by chance, the outcome is always uncertain.

The combination of the ease of playing this game, and the personalities of the cast on the telecast have continue to keep this telecast a very popular show.

Last update May 31, 2010