Best Wheel Of Fortune Moments

Daniel Brown
• Friday, 13 November, 2020
• 8 min read

Participating as a part of Canada Week, the competitor landed on the million-dollar spot, successfully guessed Around the House answer of “Leaky Faucet,” and finished the night on Wheel with the best prize of all: a hug from Anna White. In November 2010, contestant Caitlin Burke made one of the most impressive solves in Wheel of Fortune's history.

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He guessed “Port & Starboard” off of just the final “D” in the second word, “Oh What a Night” off of just three letters, and solved “Don't Let the Cat Out of the Bag,” with only Ts, HS, and Es revealed on the board. In March 2014, contestant Emil De Leon stunned viewers and even Speak when he correctly solved the final puzzle, despite only getting two letters on the three-word Thing answer.

In January 2013, Wheel of Fortune contestant Natasha Holly revealed she was hardly a Johnny Cash fan when attempting to solve a Song/Artist puzzle. In the world of game shows, the most shocking moments don’t come down to who wins or who loses.

From Pat Speak almost having “a stroke” during Wheel of Fortune to Sarah Pain rapping on The Masked Singer to the Love is Blind contestant who served her golden retriever wine (because “she loves wine”), early 2020 was already insane in game show land. Whether we’re talking about international Big Brother’s response to COVID-19, the controversial Heroine/Laura decision on The Great British Baking Show, or the simple spectacle of Kathie Lee Gifford’s son-in-law’s moose knuckle on prime time…the game shows were bonkers this year.

With that in mind, Team Decider would like to toast the most WTF game show moments in 2020. First, way back in March, the poor host with the most almost had “a stroke” during Willie Bye’s attempt at the Million Dollar Bonus Round.

Bye, an Illinoisan school bus driver and softball coach, almost blew his answer before an edgy Speak tipped him in the right direction. Contestants have to guess a phrase based on a scant amount of clues and logic.

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From the idea that beautiful singletons would surrender their freedom to partake in a romantic reality TV competition to the fact that one couple…one couple really fell in love! Family Feud wandered into some decidedly family friendly territory this year when Ben Heard showed off his moose knuckle on network TV.

The wardrobe snafu gave us all a good look at what Cassidy was getting, and prompted a response from Kathie Lee. Since the whole point of the series is to lock contestants in a house and isolate them from the outside world, the producers decided to keep the ongoing coronavirus pandemic a secret from the cast.

Though they may have heard about the original spread in Wuhan as they were entering the house in early February, they were shell shocked to hear the news that it had grown to such proportions. The contestants ended up finishing out the season, though they were given video messages from friends and family to confirm everyone back home was safe.

But anyone who plays the next round of Netflix’s The Circle or any of its international spinoffs should beware: if you get stuck with this one particular apartment, then you’re already a loser. It’s a show about celebrities singing in elaborate costumes and forcing America to play a guessing game that has dubious rules and no real prize.

Former Alaskan governor and vice presidential nominee Sarah Pain rapping “Baby Got Back” while dressed as a cotton candy bear is among those things. Fans all over the globe were absolutely irate when judges Paul Hollywood and True Lath decided to boot Heroine over Laura Arlington.

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At some point during the fever dream that was 2020, Netflix took us to a dangerous new level of absurdity with the show Floor is Lava. Inspired by the playground game of the same name, Floor is Lava asked full-grown adults (and some reluctant teens) to navigate an obstacle course flooded with “lava.” No, the liquid was not real molten magma.

The stage was empty, save for the obvious winner of the round, and Alex Greek commented that he “cannot recall the last time” something like that happened. Of course, Jeopardy hit us harder in the heart this year with the tragic passing of long-time host Alex Greek, who succumbed to his battle with pancreatic cancer in November.

Courtesy Carnival Cruise Line/Gary Miller Wheel‘s Culver City, California set isn’t the only place that feels like home for White. She was recently named godmother of the brand new Carnival Panorama, a Vista-class cruise ship.

The newly blessed relationship is a pretty perfect fit, as both White and Carnival share support for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. For the first time in her history with Wheel of Fortune, the 62-year-old was asked to fill-in for her costar Speak, who was about to undergo emergency surgery.

I’ve never really paid attention to how Pat runs the show.” You have to read these hilarious game show answers from real contestants. Courtesy Carol Nelson White describes the experience of stepping into the hosting role as “going from first baseman to pitcher of the game, but you’re not sure you’re not sure how to pitch.” Needless to say, there were a couple of bumps within those first few hours of filming but South Carolina native says everything happened organically.

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Courtesy Carol Nelson After working on the show for more than three decades, White has had her fair share of bloopers, but nothing that she finds terribly embarrassing. She does recall a funny moment that happened during one of Wheel’s holiday episodes a few years ago.

Courtesy Carol Nelson White’s glitzy gowns, dresses, and jumpsuits are her Wheel of Fortune signature, but they can lend themselves to funny moments, too. “I had a very tight pantsuit on that had a built-in belt that literally just popped off in the middle of the show.” Find out what happens to all of Anna White’s fabulous dresses on the show.

Courtesy Carol Nelson Speaking of those glam ensembles, White does have her preferences when it comes too long versus short dresses and her choice is purely practical. Fremantle Media/Shutterstock Of course, some of the funniest Wheel of Fortune moments for viewers are when contestants slip up with one of their answers.

“We had a guy who won a brand-new car, and he turned to Pat and said, ‘I don’t have to take the bus anymore!” she says. Courtesy Carol Nelson When they aren’t filming on the Sony lot, Wheel of Fortune has had the opportunity to pack up the puzzle board and wheel and hit the road, taking the show to cities across the country.

O Fortuna velum Luna state variables temper crisis AUT decreases; vita detestable nun obdurate ET tune curate ludo mantis CIEM gestate, potentate dissolved UT glacier (Carmine Purana) O Fortune like the Moon changeable in state always waxing or waning; detestable life at one moment hard and at the next cares for the witty games of the mind poverty, power it dissolves like ice. The idea of Fortune's wheel is quite old and seems to have originated with the classical philosophers. But its influence in the Middle Ages can be traced mostly to the Consolation of Philosophy of the late Roman philosopher Boethius.

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Boethius' writings, contained here and in a few other works, were for years the only source known to medieval people for the ideas of the Greek philosophers. But the advisors of the aging king had used Theodoric's uneasiness over the future of his kingdom to accuse a number of their enemies of working to subvert his rule.

Yes, rise up on my wheel if you like, but don't count it an injury when by the same token you begin to fall, as the rules of the game will require.” Depictions of the Wheel in literature in the Middle Ages abound, from the Romance of the Rose to Chaucer, to name just a couple.

(Inferno VII 82-90) The famous 13th century text of the Carmine Purana quoted above is just another example of this phenomenon. However, in about the twelfth century this evolves into a depiction of Fortune standing beside a mechanical wheel which she controls with a lever.

The image was a favorite of Henry III of England (who apparently spent too much time dwelling on higher things), to name just one noble who was mindful of the idea. The Wheel served to remind people, particularly nobles who were seen as being the most susceptible to the sin of ambition and the wiles of Fortune, of the temporality of earthly things.

But the medieval readers of Boethius saw victory, not defeat, in his life and his final rejection of the wiles of Fortune. Not only does it help us get into a medieval mindset, but it can help remind us that the important things in life come from within, that hard work has its own merits.

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An award, an office, a title--these are not the things that make for greatness, though a worthy person holding one of these can enhance its glory. Wheel of Fortune contestant Emil de Leon from Daly City, Calif., stunned host Pat Speak and viewers Wednesday night in one of the game show's most amazing puzzle solves.

TODAY's Al Roger said of the solve on Thursday. But though Speak had frisked the player, TODAY's Natalie Morales joked that maybe there were some hi jinks going on.

Roger and Matt Later poked fun at her conspiracy theory. Emil won $45,000 for solving the final puzzle, and took home a grand total of $63,099.

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