What’s the big ‘never before happened’ surprise ‘Wheel of Fortune’ has in store?

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

In addition to announcing changes made to its set due to coronavirus, “Wheel of Fortune” is also teasing that something happens during the first two weeks of Season 38 that’s never happened before.

What, exactly, is being kept a secret, no doubt to encourage viewers to tune in.

That said, fans are already speculating on possibilities, with the leading contenders being a three way tie or multiple or back to back million dollar wins.

The show has had a two way tie a handful of times before, the last being in 2016, the first one in about a decade. In the event of a tie of any type, the rules call for a “toss up” tiebreaker that shows a category and puzzle with a few letters filled in — the first contestant to correctly complete the puzzle goes on to the bonus road.

The odds of a three way tie are relatively low considering the varied amounts of cash and prize values the show offers — including ones that end of $50 or other non-even hundred amounts that can be helpful in creating wins by just small margins.

In addition, the “speed up” final round can also cause wild swings in scores since the value of each correct letter tends to be higher than at any other point in the show (host Pat Sajak spins the wheel and the show adds $1,000 whatever his spin lands on).

Millionaire dollar wins, meanwhile, have only happened three times in the show’s history as of Sept. 14, 2020.

To even become eligible for the chance to win $1,000,000, a contestant must land on a wedge that is one third the size of the normal ones (and sandwiched between two “bankrupt” spaces), correctly call a letter and win the round.

When a constant correctly guesses a letter after landing on the million dollar space, he or she lifts it off the wheel and turns it around to reveal a full width million dollar design — and then places on the ledge above his or her flipper, preventing anyone else from landing on it.

In addition, the contestant cannot land on a “bankrupt” wedge at any point after earning the wedge. The contestant must also must emerge as the top cash and prize winner at the end of the final round of play to advance to the bonus round (if a contestant does not advance to the bonus round but has the million dollar space, it is essentially rendered useless).

Assuming all of those conditions are met, contestants then, since Season 35, have a chance to select one of three categories for the bonus round.

They then spin a “mini wheel” with 24 cards. Assuming the contestant has the million dollar wedge at this point, the show replaces the $100,000 folded card with a $1,000,000 one.

If the contestant solves the bonus round puzzle, the card is revealed with either a cash prize or automobile.