There’s no doubt that watching “Wheel of Fortune” versus competing on the classic game show are two different experiences.
Although the contestants enjoy competing, a lot goes into making it the entertaining show that it is. Moreover, the contestants have certain expectations they’re required to meet if they want to get on the show.
Before they step onto the stage, the contestants arrive early at the studio to sign legal documents and get into makeup. They also get a briefing on the game, along with strategy tips. According to former contestant Ryan Cannonie, you have to remember a critical piece of information if you want to succeed on the show.
“It is really important to remember the category, I’ll say that. It will really sink your battleship if you don’t,” he revealed to the Tahlequah Daily Press. Although “Wheel” encourages just about anyone who wants to be on the show to audition, you’ll be in for quite a long process.
The Surprising Rules Behind ‘Wheel of Fortune’
Before getting an invite to be on the show, a “Wheel of Fortune” hopeful must pass two rounds of auditions, then could potentially wait up to two years in the contestant pool before getting the phone call that you’ve been chosen.
Out of the million hopefuls that apply, only about 600 people per year get on the show. After getting an invite, a contestant pays their own way to get to Los Angeles.
After arriving, productive gives contestants a list of dress code protocols that include no solid red, black, or white tops or tight-fitting blouses. Then, after getting on-set, contestants then practice spinning the wheel and try their hands at practice puzzles.
Contestants also stand on top of platforms that production can adjust for their height. During the taping, there are more rules: no cell phones are allowed, and contestants are chaperoned if they want to use the bathroom.
Since the show tapes several episodes over a day, production also draws names to see who will play each taping. Former contestant Tami Tolley confessed that playing “Wheel of Fortune” in person is much more complicated than playing at home.
She and a friend played on a memorable “Girlfriend Getaways” episode and had problems like not buzzing in fast enough. They also missed out on winning $10,000 because they called a letter that wasn’t in the puzzle. However, she says, “we can’t put a price on the experience and the memories.”