From massive money rewards on the wheel to a bonus round at the end, “Wheel of Fortune” really does provide a lot of space for contestants to win a fortune.
On last night’s episode (April 13), a contestant, Adrine, walked away with a pretty hefty cash prize. The official “Wheel of Fortune” Twitter even gave her a shoutout. The Twitter account wrote, “Say cheese, Adrine … She just won $38,000,” alongside a video of her successful final bonus puzzle.
The $38,000 is only what Adrine won during the final bonus puzzle, however. When that was combined with her total earnings from the rest of the show she was able to walk away with $62,988.
When compared to most episodes of the “Wheel of Fortune,” Adrine really did walk away with a lot of money.
However, she didn’t earn as much as some contestants have in the past. In fact, Matt Desanto continues to hold the record for the most money earned during the regular portion of the show, not including the bonus round.
According to ET Online, in 2015 Desanto finished with $91,000 before the final bonus round. He shocked viewers, as well as Pat Sajak and Vanna White when he guessed a puzzle that only had one vowel filled in.
His amazing run didn’t stop there. He was able to win every single puzzle in the game. It was an unlucky day for the two people standing next to him to compete, unfortunately. It can be extremely difficult to get on a game show. Once they did, another contestant completely dominated the show.
‘Wheel of Fortune’ and Other Game Show Expenses
“Wheel of Fortune” has been on for decades, as have a number of different kinds of game shows. The main purpose is to win money, hopefully, a lot of it. So how do game shows and trivia shows give away thousands of dollars every night?
Shows like “Wheel of Fortune” have very low production costs. There are very few people the show has to pay and there are no extravagant sets or costumes. Therefore, all the advertising and brand deals that occur can go toward cash or prizes. Due to the overall structure of filming and casting, game shows are left with a lot of money.
According to Forbes, these huge cash amounts are still subject to taxes as well. The winnings are considered “ordinary income” and can be taxed up to 37% by the IRS. There is usually a state income tax applied to those earnings as well.
Despite taxes and deductions, earning money on a show is still pretty rewarding. The experience of solving puzzles on the “Wheel of Fortune” studio set is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, regardless of the money.