While winning big on “Wheel of Fortune” is no strange occasion, it’s just as satisfying to watch each time.
Last night one contestant, Krystal, went from standing in a studio across from Pat Sajak and Vanna White to dreaming of a future vacation in Mexico.
She had to solve a puzzle and the answer was “extraordinary vacation,” which is very fitting given the circumstances. Krystal chose to do an express round. This means that she can keep calling consonants only and will get $1,000 for each one she guesses correctly.
By the time she was able to fill in all the consonants, she had gotten $8,650 from one puzzle. Sajak then exclaims, “And you’re going to Mexico!”
Contestants on “Wheel of Fortune” often win large cash prizes and trips to wonderful places all around the world.
Winning a Trip on ‘Wheel of Fortune’
When a contestant earns a trip, what happens next? How does it work to win a trip in comparison to a cash prize?
According to Market Watch, one contestant named Matt McMahan was on the show in 2017 and ended up earning $31,700 in cash and prizes. He had actually gotten two vacations, one trip to Chile and a cruise down the Danube River.
As most people know, the earnings a contestant gets on the show are in fact taxed as if it were regular income. McMahan said that the show lets you find less expensive versions of the trips so that the amount you spend on taxes is less. His vacation value was originally at $15,300, but he instead found cheaper options and the total was closer to $10,800.
Despite the huge earnings, McMahan estimates that he will really only walk away with $6,000 in cash earnings. While he could choose to forgo the vacations, it isn’t even something he considered. There’s something priceless about enjoying a free vacation.
“We would have loved the extra $2,000, but given that it’s just the two of us and we share living expenses, experiences are worth more than money right now,” McMahan said to Market Watch on his decision.
Even the experience of competing on “Wheel of Fortune” is worth more than just the money. Millions of people apply for a chance to be on the show, but only about 200 will even make it to the final round. Then from there luck and fortune have to be on your side to win big money.