The Secret About Wheel Of Fortune You Weren't Supposed To Know

Wheel of Fortune has been on the air since 1975, making it one of the longest-running game shows on television, but even long-time fans might be surprised at just how the show is taped (via How Stuff Works).

According to, the team manages to shoot an entire month's worth of shows in just four days (specifically every other Thursday and Friday) by taping six shows each day. In fact, one episode takes just thirty minutes to film, thanks to the digitization of the puzzle board. Before 1997, when the board was analog, it took almost an hour to tape, just because the board needed to be manually reset so often.

Yet, somehow, despite the rushed filming schedule, the show has time to replay certain rounds if they don't like the first take (via Buzzfeed). According to one former contestant, "They basically film a whole week's worth of shows in a day, and sometimes repeat rounds if it didn't go 'right' the first time." In fact, contestants are rigorously coached on how to act, how to call out letters, and even how to spin the wheel (via The Week). If this shocks you, there are a few more things you should probably know as Wheel of Fortune returns for its 38th season (via Today).

More secrets about Wheel of Fortune

While Wheel of Fortune uses some tricks to its advantage, like making the 6-foot diameter wheel look bigger with the angle of the camera, most everything else about the wheel is actually real, not rigged (via Awesome Jelly). Some fans used to believe there was a foot pedal under host Pat Sajak's desk allowing him to control the speed of the spin or where it landed, since they noticed the wheel never stopped on "bankrupt" or "lose a spin" during the final spin. The truth is, it does occasionally land on those spots, but it's edited out for the sake of time. The wheel itself is not rigged. 

Of course, this isn't the only way that the show is streamlined to save time. For example, to avoid contestants repeating previous incorrect guesses, there's a screen facing them showing those letters, but that's not the only secret screen. The host has one facing him that shows how many of a correctly-guessed letter there are in the puzzle (via ABC News). Before the screens took over, it was the job of a "finger boy" (i.e. member of production staff) to signal that number to Sajak with their fingers. With so many sneaky time-savers, it's no wonder they're able to shoot so many shows in so few days.