Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak is looking forward to better days, presumably post-pandemic ones. And on Wednesday, he took to Twitter to pen a thoughtful one-liner about the times we’re living through.
“Looking forward to a time when I’ll be sad to see a year end,” Sajak tweeted.
Wheel of Fortune Had to Make Its Share of Pandemic Adjustments
Sajak and crew have had to make some adjustments to produce a COVID-era game show. Among them are a strict testing protocol for contestants, hosts, staff and crew; a redesigned platform around the wheel to allow for social distancing; and a new curved monitor around the wheel.
Each contestant plus Sajak gets their own spinning cap, a cloth pocket that covers the small rods on the wheel and helps them to spin the wheel without touching it directly with their hands. And the show has also been carefully adhering to local government guidelines around the coronavirus, per USA Today.
“Our challenge was not unique, to get back up and running in a way that is safe for everyone involved while making subtle improvements to make America’s Game even better,” then-executive producer Mike Richards said in a press release at the time. “I think we have accomplished that in a big way, and our fans can be comfortable knowing that they’re going to tune in to see the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ they love.”
Show’s Fans Demand Adherence to the Rules
Meanwhile, many Wheel of Fortune fans were bent out of shape last week after the show allowed an answer that was technically incorrect. The fans justifiably pointed out that if Wheel of Fortune is going to stress the importance of the rules, they should apply the rules equally.
Here’s what happened. The contestants had reached the final puzzle of the show on Thursday. Then contestant Steven Page guessed the answer to the puzzle. He said, “Quality craftmanship.” But the correct answer was, “Quality craftsmanship.”
According to Yahoo Entertainment, Wheel of Fortune fans quickly took to social media to point out the miscue. Some of them even tagged the show in their replies.
“Uh, he said ‘craftmanship,’” one fan tweeted. “That’s not correct.”
“@WheelofFortune just cheated a lady out of a spot in the bonus round by counting as correct a mispronounced answer,” another fan chimed in. “If you can’t add an ‘and’ to a crossword, you can’t pronounce it wrong and get credit.”
Page added $9,000 to his account for that solve and went on to barely defeat Christina Maril, after which he proceeded to the bonus round. If his answer had been rejected, the next contestant up was Lisa Volivitch, who likely would have guessed the puzzle and won that money.
Alas, on Wheel of Fortune, the fans aren’t the final arbiters, and so Page’s answer counted. But fans can take heart – there’s a new year of Wheel of Fortune in store for them in 2022, and it’ll be better than ever.