The best part of any trip is when the expenses are covered by someone besides yourself.
For one “Wheel of Fortune” contestant, this dream became a reality. A contestant named Caleb from Monday night on the show racked up a lot of cash as well as a trip to Greece.
He did it by taking a bit of a risk on the studio stage. He landed on the Express section of the wheel. This means, if you accept, that when you call a consonant you earn $1,000 for each one that is correct. If a contestant misses any letter, it’s an automatic bankrupt.
The answer to the puzzle from that round is “Magnificent Ancient Ruins.” He is able to fill in all the blanks and earn an astounding $11,500 in just one round. To top it all off, Pat Sajak announces, “And you’re going to the islands of Greece.”
It was a good day to land on that Express wedge.
Perhaps one of the best and most surprising prizes on “Wheel of Fortune” is when a woman named Laura Trammell won a brand-new house while on the show in April.
The house was valued at $375,000 in Latitude Margaritaville. There’s nothing like winning a trip to a brand-new house.
Earning Prizes on ‘Wheel of Fortune’
As many people know, winning prizes on TV also comes with a certain catch. There are still a large amount of the earnings that will come out from tax deductions. However, other than that, the money is the contestant’s to hold on to.
According to a Marketplace.org article from 2015, trips are a little bit different than just earning cash.
Adam Nedeff, the former “Wheel of Fortune” prize coordinator, said that trips are never purchased but are instead done via contract. The show would have representatives call hotels, airlines, and anyone else to make a sales pitch.
They would usually ask for two trips — one for the contestants during the “Prize Puzzle” and the other for viewers at home. The contestants can also forfeit a prize.
The network gives shows like “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” a budget of somewhere around $50,000 for prizes each week. The show will then use ad spots to earn extra revenue. Since “Wheel of Fortune” is popular and has been around for so long, these promotional spots sell for a good amount.
The show also uses this prize money budget to purchase things like luxury cars. For example, a contestant named Julie drove away with a brand new BMW after competing in May.
“Oh my God. This cannot be happening!” the eager contestant said as she went to sit in the $50,000 sleek and expensive new ride. She walked away with a total of $69,070 that day.