Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Wheel Of Fortune’
The Huffington Post | By Todd Van Luling Iconic game show “Wheel of Fortune” premiered in 1975, though it could have looked much different: the pilot was originally called “Shopper’s Bazaar” and featured a vertical wheel. Six-thousand episodes later, “Wheel of Fortune” is the longest-running syndicated game show in the United States. With such longevity, you’ve probably tried to solve a few puzzles yourself and maybe even had one of the video games. But even if you’re an avid fan, you might have missed a bit of the weird history of this American television institution.Alex Trebek hosted ‘Wheel of Fortune’ on April Fools’ Day in 1997.While White and Sajak spun the wheel for charity, Alex Trebek hosted “Wheel of Fortune” as an April Fools’ Day joke in 1997. Trebek’s co-host was Lesly Brown, who has been married to Sajak since 1989. Trebek’s show, “Jeopardy,” has traditionally been paired with “Wheel of Fortune” in the same hour television slot, although the order varies by region.It wasn’t the first time Trebek had hosted. He filled in for Chuck Woolery in the show’s very early days, and once before helmed the wheel in place of Sajak in 1985. During another April Fools’ Day joke, White and Sajak pretended they were married. White told Parade that they received many toasters from fans of the show, which they ultimately sent back.Despite many taping locations, there is only one wheel and it weighs 2,400 pounds.According to ABC News, the wheel also has 200 lights that can make two million colors and the noise comes from 73 stainless steel pins hitting three rubber “flippers.”Since there is only one wheel and one puzzle board, it’s an arduous process to transfer the set between all the special locales. Apparently the show travels with about 1 million pounds of equipment. Everyone on the staff comes up with the puzzles, including Vanna White and Pat Sajak.According to Disney’s Babble, Harry Friedman, the executive producer of the show since 1999, said that although the process is “very scientific” the puzzles come from “everybody on the staff” and that it’s a “group effort.”According to the “Wheel of Fortune” fan wikia, misspellings and improper punctuation have occurred at least a dozen times, the puzzle with the most letters was “HERSHEY BAR GRAHAM CRACKER GOOEY ROASTED MARSHMALLOW” at 46 and the first letter ever revealed on the show was an S. The wheel of fortune keeps on turning.