Wheel of Fortune Contestant’s Strange Behavior Baffles Hosts and Viewers

By: Mia Williams | Last updated: Mar 28, 2023

The Wheel of Fortune game show has been a staple of American television for decades. Millions of people tune in every day to watch common Americans play the Hangman-inspired game. For many, Wheel of Fortune is a way to clear their minds of the stress of work while bonding with family. They can let their imaginations run wild, thinking of what they’d do if they won the prizes they offer.

When Nura Fountano finally had her chance to appear on the game show, people were quick to spot her unusual behavior. Though the show is usually known for its lighthearted fun and excitement, Fountano created a new mystery within the puzzle-based show – a mystery that had to be solved. Read on to learn what happened.

In Demand

Wheel of Fortune has been playing on people’s TV screens since 1975, originally aired by NBC as a daytime show. It was the brainchild of Merv Griffin, who also created the internationally popular quiz show Jeopardy!, which debuted on NBC in 1964. 



With seven thousand episodes under its belt (as of May 2019), Wheel of Fortune is one of the longest-running and most-loved TV game shows in America. Not only has it captured the hearts of American viewers, but it has transcended borders, having been adapted numerous times for international audiences. 


One of a Kind Contestant

On this fateful day, the game show proceeded the way it normally would. The colorful wheel spun to the usual background sound of the audience chanting the show’s title. Viewers at home sat on their couches, waiting to be entertained by flashes of money and cool cars.


But it quickly became apparent that one contestant was intent on diverting this river of entertainment. Nura Fountano was up to something that would have confounded even Mr. Griffin, the game’s inventor, had he been around to witness this anomaly. To understand what happened that day, we first need to explain a few details from the history of Wheel of Fortune.

Solving Word Puzzles

Merv Griffin thought of creating a game in which three contestants aimed to guess a secret phrase, each presented under a particular category with a clue, much like the game Hangman. To fill the blank spots, contestants can guess consonants and buy vowels until all the letters begin to make sense.


Contestants may also opt to guess the words at any time to solve the puzzles, which are mostly figures of speech. They spin the wheel at every turn and earn the dollar value or prize labeled on it – but only if they guess the right letter, word, or phrase. 

Not as Easy as It Looks

Viewers love Wheel of Fortune because it’s easy to follow, and the gameplay doesn’t require heavy analysis. The simplicity of the game is one of its charms, and people can relax while watching it. Each time an episode ends, we look forward to the next time we get to kick back and imagine winning those prizes.


Of course, being on the game show is a totally different experience. Over the years, contestants have developed different strategies to win the game, like prioritizing highly probable letters and familiarizing themselves with common phrases and idioms.

Odd Behavior

Former Wheel contestants will be quick to tell you that being on stage vying for the top prize really isn’t as easy as most people expect. The glare of the lighting will hypnotize you, and before you know it, your allotted time to make a guess expires, making you lose a turn.

The cameras all around the place won’t let you forget the fact that millions of people are watching, and this makes many contestants overly conscious. It is not rare for rattled participants to act a bit odd or give out ridiculous guesses. 


The Host is No Stranger to Odd Behavior

The host, Pat Sajak, has done his fair share of odd things on the show as well. Fans have called him out on multiple occasions for saying weird things and making the contestants uncomfortable.

Source: YouTube

In a recent case, he even put a contestant in a headlock! This was at the end of the show when the contestant had mentioned that he used to wrestle. There’s been lots of speculation as to if Pat’s maneuver was innocent or not. All this to say, when the camera is on, it’s sure to catch some odd behaviors!


Overlooking Obvious Answers

For those simply watching the show from the comfort of their own home, the answers seem easy. However, the contestants are continually time-pressured, and many are hypersensitive to being in the spotlight.

Presented with a puzzle that was so close to completion, much to the amusement of the crowd (and even the hosts), this contestant threw out the mind-boggling answer “self-potato,” missing the obvious answer of “self-portrait” completely. People tend to commit hilarious errors when they are anxious.


Double Whammy

Fast approaching its Golden Jubilee Year, the world-renowned game show has accumulated its fair share of hilarious moments over the years. It has a bank full of bloopers contributed by the game’s jittery participants whose minds came up with the strangest ideas while under pressure.

Case in point, this participant found himself garbling his answer, saying Marvin instead of Merlin the Magician. It became doubly hilarious when the same mistake was committed sequentially by the next competitor, who was slow to realize he had parroted the incorrect response. 


Amusing Memes

Fountano’s behavior was pretty odd, but viewers couldn’t really jump on it at once because the show itself has witnessed many such strange performances in the past. Indeed, Wheel of Fortune has become a factory of spoonerisms, with contestants bumbling their way through many back-to-front answers.

Many shows have referenced Wheel of Fortune, and there are countless memes about incoherent people making obvious mistakes. Episodes of South Park and Family Guy have been created, poking fun at such situations, with characters blurting out ridiculous answers, causing viewers to guffaw.


For a Noble Cause

Wheel of Fortune has made millions of people happy for decades, so much so that it has become a TV staple for many families. The game’s ability to entertain seems inexhaustible, like a lock that has too many combinations to try and switch before it opens and the joy goes away.

The show’s hosts – Pat Sajak and Vanna White – are beloved too. However, in 1997, on April Fool’s Day, Alex Trebek took over the Wheel for a noble cause. The game that day was dedicated to charity.


War Veterans

The fun doesn’t end when a random player pulled from a long line of applicants steps up on the stage and takes away the top prize. Wheel of Fortune has shown more depth than many expected it to have.

It’s played in honor of noble causes too. For Veterans Week back in 2015, the show was dedicated to the many Americans who have served in the military. It was an exclusive episode for servicemen (and women), and the stage was set up with a special military theme. 


A Big Deal to Sajak

Many shows and companies have their own programs for charity as part of their strategy to build a more wholesome image and create a brand that people can trust. However, this was more than just a show of social responsibility for its long-time host Pat Sajak.

It was a personal matter to Sajak, who was a military man himself, having served during the Vietnam War after he joined the army in 1968. His voice brought constant cheer to the stationed servicemen through his work as an Armed Forces Radio DJ.


Famous Veteran

Although ready to see some action in the field, Pat Sajak was initially sent to Vietnam as an office clerk. He was later moved to Saigon, where he was given the opportunity to be a DJ for the Armed Forces Radio.

Source: maximumfun.org

Sajak has been consistently vocal with his support for Vietnam veterans who remember him shouting “Good morning Vietnam” for months. The proud and famous veteran also worked and supported the National Vietnam Veterans Committee.


Celebrating Veterans Day

Sajak told a reporter how he admires the courage, patriotism, and selfless service shown by Vietnam war veterans. He wrote about his admiration on the American Veterans Center website. Sajak has always been passionate about showing his support and ensuring veterans get the recognition and aid they deserve.

Pat Sajak is a proud veteran. They should all be proud of themselves too, he said, warming the hearts of his audience when thanking them for their service on Veterans Day. Sajak said he was happy that the show could give them an opportunity to add a little extra something to their income. 


Raising Awareness

Pat Sajak has utilized his popularity to reach out to people about the importance of the contributions veterans have made to society. His emotions show, and this easily wins him the empathy of his viewers as he works to raise awareness of the needs of Vietnam veterans.

His infectious advocacy captured the heart of co-host Vanna White too, who expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to help. Veterans have done so much for the country, and White publicly thanked them, saying she’s glad to do anything she can to return the favor.


The Strangest Day

It was in this tenor of gratitude for the nation’s servicemen and women that Wheel of Fortune unfolded on the 15th of November, 2015. Otherwise, everything else took its regular course – the live audience cheered, the wheel spun, the prizes flashed before everyone’s eyes.

There was no sign nor any clue at all that a remarkable unraveling of events was about to unfold. The strange events of this day would eventually go viral, capturing the attention of a worldwide audience.


The Show’s Contestants

Pat Sajak and Vanna White walked on stage, showered by the crowd’s praise and applause. They began to introduce the game’s special participants after a short and friendly chat to kickstart the show. The contestants this day were veterans Troy Smith, Steve Jostes, and Nura Fountano (our protagonist).

Troy Smith is a veteran of Operation: Desert Shield in Iraq, where we sent a large contingent of military personnel. Smith is from Illinois. He saw some action in the Middle East as part of the US armored division.


Steve Jostes

The next Wheel of Fortune contestant, Steve Jostes, was introduced as a member of the United States Airforce with 25 years of service. He acknowledged the crowd with a pleasant smile, sporting a haircut reminiscent of his early days in the military.

Steve Jostes retired from the USAF back in 2011, but his legacy as a serviceman was extended by the fact that he has a daughter and son who are both in the USAF. He has a total of three children.


Nura Fountano

The sole female contestant, Nura Fountano, smiled brightly before the cameras and the cheerful crowd. No one would have guessed that this charming woman was a soldier of the US military, with six years of active service to her name.

Fountano did two tours of duty in Iraq. She hails from San Antonio, Texas, and served as a member of the system maintenance crew that handles the Bradley Fighting Vehicles. Since then, Fountano has focused on being a medical assistant and a makeup artist on the side. 


A True Public Servant

The only woman in a trio of past soldiers, Nura Fountano, displayed perfect confidence and never looked daunted for a second. In fact, she was always smiling, with an aura of relaxed openness. She was happy to be there and proud of being a veteran.

Nura shared a few words about how much other veterans have done for her country by sacrificing so much, and many don’t even realize the full extent of what they’ve done. She said she looks back on her military experience with no regret, only gratitude for the opportunity to serve.


A Strong Start

With the introductions complete, Nura Fountano got her game face on and started the episode strong. However, her game plan was soon to take an unusual turn, much to the confusion of the audience.

After a few guesses by the trio in turns, the lit-up puzzle on the board was shown as “_ _UR-_T_R  _ _ _E_A_.” Up for grabs was a prize of $1,000. Fountano sensed her opportunity and went for the kill, answering “Four-star general” correctly.


Taking the Early Lead

Nura Fountano started off with an early lead, snatching a grand right off the bat. She further impressed the crowd with an opportunity to earn double the first round as the two other competitors watched on, unable to mask their awe.

The boxes of the word puzzles gradually revealed their contents at every successful call, leading up to “_ORL_ H_S_ _RY”, which the former USAF Bradley Armored Vehicle specialist stole by providing the right answer: “World History.” She was poised to take control of the next round. 


On a Roll

It initially seemed to everyone that Fountano was going to dominate her competition. She’d easily conquered the first couple of tests and was beaming with confidence. However, her good luck unexpectedly waned, and she lost her chance to clinch the next prize that would have given her a wider lead.

The soldier turned medical assistant lost her chance by failing to figure out the phrase “Doing a double loop-the-loop,” which gave Troy Smith a shot, and he didn’t disappoint, earning some credits for himself.


Remaining Calm and Composed

With Smith catching up to her, Nura Fountano remained perfectly calm and composed, exhibiting a posture that gave viewers the impression that she knew what she was doing. She compensated for her loss by taking the next couple of rounds.

She bounced back with responses, “Ideal spot for a getaway” and “Wind tunnel of love.” She was able to extend her lead, proving that her quick start in the game was no fluke. In addition to that, she snagged the special prize – a trip to Belize for a spa vacation package.


Becoming a Fan Favorite

The audience didn’t skip a beat in recognizing Fountano’s fighting spirit, and they loved how she quickly regained momentum after her blunder early on. They were charmed by the quick comeback, her steadfastness, and her palpable self-confidence, despite being under pressure.

In total contrast, Steve Jostes had nil on his signboard. He had not won any segments, while Fountano had already scored $13,970. This was followed by Troy Smith, who had a little over $4,000.


The Fast Round

The time had come for the fast-paced format of the last round, and Fountano led the pack in revealing the letters of the phrase that was waiting to be called out. She was obviously the crowd favorite, and Troy Smith had only snagged the letter “T.”

The crowd’s attention was on Fountano, who only had three seconds to fire back a calculated guess. Considering how well she had been performing up until that moment, her response was utterly baffling.


Requesting the Least Common Letter

The audience knew she was going to come up with a smart guess, just as she had been doing since the game commenced. However, her words were incomprehensible, even to Sajak, who was closer to her. The host had to lean slightly forward to make sure he’d heard her correctly.

“Z – as in Zulu,” was her reply. It was as if she’d frozen on the battlefield at a critical moment.  Sights set on the most important target, she was faltering. The major prize was on the line, but Fountano was foundering.


What Was She Thinking?

Of course, not a single box in the puzzle lit up to reveal a letter Z. This was a no-brainer, but that was the answer given to them by the game’s leader. Everyone thought it was some sort of a joke, albeit a costly one, and even Smith, who went after her, didn’t understand what she was up to. 

Nura Fountano had been systematic all night, but she’d just come up with an answer that was the most unlikely to score anything. Was something wrong with her? Did she need help? 


Fountano Loses a Turn

Smith couldn’t discern what had just happened. His mind lagged like an outdated computer, but he knew enough to take advantage of the opening given to him and got the letters “R” and “S” to his account, helping him build his score.

Sajak still looked shocked by Fountano’s last answer. It was a sucker punch to the host, the type that knocks a fighter out, coming from an unexpected angle and completely unforeseen. He seemed unsettled as Nura’s turn came around again. 


Game Show Meltdown

Loyal viewers of Wheels of Fortune were glued to their seats when it was Fountano’s turn to take a guess. They had been enjoying watching her become the alpha dog, and she’d impressed them up to the last stage, but now they sensed a shift in her momentum.

A jumble of letters floated, spiraling before the eyes of the spectators as they waited for their favorite contestant to make a guess. This time, she failed to give any. Instead, she stood silent. It was as if her mouth had been taped shut.


Out of Control

Nura Fountano failed to give a valid answer before her time ran out. Perhaps the spectacle of the show had finally caught up to her. Many of the world’s best athletes break down when their moment of truth arrives. Countless basketball players have choked at the free-throw line with a second left on the shot clock.

The only problem with that explanation was that Fountano didn’t appear to be scared at all. Was she just putting on a brave face? Her calm countenance didn’t match her nonsensical answers. Next, she guessed the letter Q. 


She Must Be Intoxicated

Who would come up with such highly improbable letters in a game like this? Her perplexing choices disturbed the audience, and those at home took their confusion to social media. Twitter users were soon spouting whimsical comments, theorizing that she must be drunk.

These confused Twitter users certainly had a point. Why pick Z or Q to complete a puzzle like this? Her outlandish choices seemed to annoy Sajak, who was even more blown away when Fountano told him her next bet was on the letter X.


Beyond Comprehension

It became clear to everyone that she’d lost her winning edge. It was incomprehensible for a participant to pluck out the weirdest letters in the alphabet when there were obviously better options in the array. She had been doing brilliantly well not so long ago. What happened?

When Fountano wasn’t offering the weirdest answers, she was failing to think of anything at all. It was hard to tell which was worse – her odd guesses or her complete failures. The crowd was concerned, and her chances of winning were fizzling with the passage of time.


Lost Opportunities

Nura Fountano spiraled out of control, and those glued to the game wished they could read her mind and push her forward when she was so close to winning. Steve Jostes eventually found his rhythm and earned $6,400.

Jostes clawed his way up from nothing and won the round. It was a peculiar night, and the eyes of the audience were riveted, not on the victor as they should have been, but on the exceptionally bizarre loser. 


Sajak Questions Fountano

After congratulating the winner, Pat Sajak could not help but approach Nura. He was just as intrigued as everybody else and thought he might as well ask the question that was on the crowd’s mind. What happened? Nura Fountano told him that she gave the answers she saw fit to solve each puzzle, carefully navigating this investigation as if she was on the witness stand.

Unconvinced, the host joked that there was nothing he could do about it anyway. She was not on trial for a crime, nor was she under oath.


Qualified for the Next Round

Sajak did not buy her explanation, but he shrugged it off and congratulated her for qualifying for the final round. He was happy to see Jostes secure some money to bring home at the end of the day, and he was pleased that Nura had a chance to redeem herself and go for the top prize.

The viewers wondered if she would be able to get it right this time around. Perhaps she was too nervous. If so, she needed to get herself together for the final run. 


Not Winning It All

Would Nura mess up again? Or would she gun for the top prize as she had done in the early rounds? The decisions she made in the final rounds were highly questionable, even frustrating, with some puzzles being obvious enough and ripe for the taking. It was incredible that she’d missed such obvious answers.

Whatever her real motives were, the crowd could only guess at that point. However, the end result had been oddly positive. Her mistakes meant that no contestant would go home empty-handed that day. This was a nice consolation prize for the crowd members who were still confused by her performance.


A Momentous Event

For the first time since Fountano started to flounder, a wave of understanding rolled through the audience. The notion that she’d intentionally committed those errors so she could share the game’s rewards became clear in everyone’s minds.

It was as if an extra puzzle had been solved. They had been played and played well. People started to cheer for her in the studio and online, congratulating and thanking her for throwing away some of the rounds for a noble purpose.


Back on Track

Nura Fountano was back to her normal self for the final round. Unlike her earlier dubious performance that had gripped the audience in disbelief, she was determined and purposeful. There was no longer an air of confusion surrounding her guesses.

She was raking in thousands of dollars, impressing people even more than before. With an aura of doggedness, Nura seemed unstoppable. However, she failed to clinch the closing puzzle, which would have earned her $33,000.


Next Stop: Belize

Nura Fountano did not join Wheel of Fortune to win it all but to play and win for all. It was not about the competition but the sharing that went along with it, their camaraderie, and her caring and sense of duty and oneness with her peers.

Sajak warmly expressed his gratitude for how much excitement and happiness she’d brought to that day’s show. Nura had earned close to $14,000 and a spa vacation. She was over the moon to be going to Belize but was mostly happy to know that everybody won that day.


More Secrets from Wheel of Fortune

Indeed, Nura’s behavior in the beloved game show was incredible. The generosity she showed her fellow players is inspiring. We hope such gestures will continue on the future episodes of Wheel of Fortune. As it turns out, however, there are many more strange secrets from the show. Keep reading to discover things about the show that you wished you knew sooner.


For example, in the early days of the Wheel of Fortune’s production, hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna had a habit of hanging out and having a couple of drinks before going to work. “At NBC in Burbank, we had a place called Los Arcos across the street … and they served great margaritas,” Sajak said in an interview with the LA Times.


The Show and The Host Won Emmy Awards

As one of the longest-running shows on TV, it comes as no surprise that Wheel of Fortune won the prestigious Daytime Emmy for “Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show.” One of its hosts, Pat Sajak, has earned not just one but 18 Daytime Emmy nominations and three wins. He also won the Lifetime Achievement Award back in 2011.


Wow! Indeed, this victory is well-deserved for the show’s staff, management, contestants, and huge fan base. We bet more awards are coming their way.


Millions are Hoping to Become Contestants on the Show

With stunning prizes and giveaways, who can resist the urge to be a lucky contestant on Wheel of Fortune? Though millions of people dream of being a contestant on the internationally acclaimed game show, only around 10,000 people get selected to audition.


Out of those chosen, only 600 aspiring people manage to land a spot on the game show per year. We’re sure the selection process is as hard as it can get.


Vanna White Has Worn Some Lovely Gowns on the Game Show

Needless to say, hostess Vanna White always wears amazing dresses on Wheel of Fortune, but have you ever thought about how many costume changes she has had throughout the years? White has reportedly worn 6,500 different dresses for the show, but she wasn’t allowed to take any of them home.


We can imagine the excitement she feels every time she’s styled with dresses most women can only dream of wearing. Though she wasn’t able to take any of the gorgeous gowns home, we’re pretty sure she has her own lovely collection.


The Show Almost Hired New Hosts in 2020

For more than three decades, Pat Sajak and Vanna White have been co-hosts of Wheel of Fortune, and their contracts were only valid until 2020. In a 2017 interview with Yahoo, Sajak revealed that he’d like to depart while the show is still well-known.


“That would be nice – to let someone else take over on a show that’s still working well. I’d also like to leave before people tune in and go, ‘My God, what the hell happened to him?’” In the end, though, he and Vanna renewed their contracts and will be with us until at least 2024.


The Show Gives Away Stunning Prizes

Back in 2018, Wheel of Fortune offered amazing prizes to their loyal viewers: a home worth $350,000, which someone could earn just by watching the popular game show and entering the sweepstakes. If the winner was below 55 years old, they would be awarded $150,000 in cash or a townhouse in Florida.


If they were over 55 years old, they would win a home in one of Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville retirement communities. The winner must have been elated with such a grand prize!


The Extremely Lucky Contestant

When something good happens to you by chance, you know that luck must have favored you big time. Take it from Emil De Leon, a Wheel of Fortune contestant in 2014 who was extremely fortunate when he only had two letters on the board – N and E.


By a bit of luck, he guessed the right answer to the puzzle (it was “New Baby Buggy”). Pat Sajak described this moment as the “most amazing solve in my 30+ years on the show. No kidding.”


The Show Once Had a Different Name

Despite the fact that the TV game show we all love has been famously called Wheel of Fortune for as long as anybody can recollect, the show had a different name in the beginning and a different idea behind it.


The game show was then called Shopper’s Bazaar, and the contenders would win counterfeit money, which they would later trade for real prizes. It really had a shopping segment that lasted until 1989. 

Eager to learn more secrets about your beloved show? Keep reading and enjoy!


Vanna White Holds a World Record

Vanna White is likely the world’s most renowned clapper on the planet, but did you know that she really holds the world record for clapping? As per Guinness World Records, the Wheel of Fortune hostess has clapped on the show a total of 3,480,864 times.


For that achievement, in 2013, she was given the world record for “the most frequent clapper.” Little did we know that by clapping alone, one can be a world record holder. Incredible!


Vanna White’s Troubled Past

Before Vanna White became famous, she chose to model for some indecent photographs so she could pay her rent. Following her employment on the game show, those risque images were offered to Playboy. The magazine chose to utilize one of those photographs as the front cover of their 1987 May issue. White was horrified.


“I said, ‘I made a mistake, I’m sorry, and I just hope I don’t lose my job over it,’” she explained in a 2017 interview with Fox News. Fortunately, the executives were understanding, and she got to keep her job.


The Show Faced Backlash Over a Background Photograph

All TV shows have experienced controversial situations. In 2017, the producers of Wheel of Fortune had to make a public apology for a photograph. During Southern Charm Week, they utilized a photo of a ranch that appeared to show African American slaves.


It created controversy, and the show received angry reactions from the public. The show’s producer said that they “regret the use of this background image, and we will be replacing it moving forward on any rebroadcast.”


Pronunciation Matters a Lot on Wheel of Fortune

Aside from the hosts, the contestants have also had their fair share of major blunders on Wheel of Fortune. One silly mistake made by a former contestant was mispronouncing the word “ flamenco.” In a 2018 episode, a contestant named Johnny made the embarrassing and costly mistake.

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Instead of saying “flamenco,” he uttered “flamingo.” It may seem like a simple mistake to anyone watching the show, but it cost him some amazing prizes: $7,000 worth of prize money and an exciting vacation.


The Show’s Worst Player

After the flamenco blunder, the audience and the show expected only the correct pronunciation from all contestants to follow. However, another pronunciation error soon occurred. In 2014, a college student earned the title of “worst player ever” after he failed to pronounce the word “Achilles” correctly.


The rules of the popular game show clearly state that the puzzle must be solved using widely accepted pronunciations. Sadly, the contestant lost his prize. Tip: mind your pronunciation, please.


The Price of a Vowel Has Never Increased

Despite the fact that a ton of costs have expanded since Wheel of Fortune debuted during the 1970s, one thing is left unchanged: the cost of a vowel. That’s right – vowels are not subject to inflation.


Despite the fact that there has been inflation throughout the years, the cost of the vowel was and still is $250. For example, purchasing every one of the vowels needed to solve “Evaluating Papers” would cost you a hefty $1,000.


Vanna White Hasn’t Physically Turned a Letter in 20+ Years

Back in the early days of the show, hostess Vanna White needed to physically turn letters on the board to uncover them for the crowd and hopeful contestants. In 1997, this routine changed when the letter board became advanced.


Having a digital board saves a lot of time. This touchscreen board need not be physically turned as it can work on its own via automation. We imagine Vanna misses this part of her job, though. What do you think?


Wrong Answers Go Viral

There are wrong answers in the show that can easily be forgotten, and there are wrong answers that go viral. In a 2017 episode, a contestant by the name of Kevin gave a senseless response. With just one letter missing, he chose to take a stab and speculated about the letter K.


In this way, rather than finding the right answer (which was “A Streetcar Named Desire”), he speculated “A Streetcar Naked Desire.” The only prize Kevin won was viral embarrassment on the internet.


Wheel of Fortune Is Well-Known in Germany

The show is not only popular in the United States but in other countries as well. With exciting prizes and giveaways that await both the audiences and contestants, the show has also captured the hearts of an international crowd.

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Ask any German person to translate “wheel of fortune” for you, and they will likely say, “Glücksrad.” This is the nearest translation, meaning “fortune’s wheel.” Well, that was the name of the German version of this beloved game show, which was on the air from 1987 to 2002.


Pat Sajak Earns an Impressive Salary

Best known as the host of Wheel of Fortune, a position he has held since 1981, Pat Sajak earns a hefty amount on the game show. According to Forbes, he earns around $15 million each year, which is similar to what late-night hosts Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert get paid for their shows.


Sajak’s hosting skills and humor have earned him 19 nominations for the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host, and he has won three times. For a talented host like him, it’s a well-deserved salary indeed!


Pat Sajak Once Walked Off the Set of the Show

In more than thirty years of working as a host of the show, Pat Sajak has witnessed crazy answers from contestants during the course of the game, especially when they find themselves with large sums of money on the line.

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In 2014, while shooting Best Friends Week in Hawaii, one of the contestants kept saying horse-related guesses to puzzles, so Pat Sajak said in disbelief, “Who said anything about a horse?” as the audience laughed. This incident caused him to jokingly storm off the stage.


Hundreds of Girls Wanted to Be Pat Sajak’s Co-Host

After original hostess Susan Stafford left, more than 200 women auditioned to take over her spot on the game show. Who would miss this great opportunity of a lifetime? However, the show’s creator chose Vanna White as Stafford’s successor as she turned the letters better than any other woman who auditioned.

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In 1982, White officially became the co-host of Wheel of Fortune. She gained popularity among the female demographic who fell in love with her wardrobe and her hosting skills.