WICHITA, Kansas – For the millions of viewers who tune in every night to the Wheel of Fortune, you know the drill: spin the wheel, call a letter, buy a vowel and solve the puzzle. The things you’ve always wondered?
To uncover the secrets behind the wheel, KSN enlisted the help of Pat, Vanna and the show’s producer, Harry Freidman.
So does Vanna get to keep all those dresses?
Some of the dresses Vanna doesn’t even like. “Oh it's very scientific, very scientific,” said Harry Friedman, producer of Wheel of Fortune. “Really everybody on the staff comes up with the puzzles. It's a group effort. Pat and Vanna come up with the puzzles, I do, but we do have a producer, Rob Roeman, who coordinates and writes most of the puzzles.”
In all seriousness, there is a method to make them balanced, interesting and appealing. But that remains a secret.
And for those wondering, the wheel of the game weighs a whopping 4,000 pounds. And speaking of the wheel -- how does Pat hit the 5,000 on the final spin so often?
“It's a real common question about why I hit the 5,000 a lot,” Pat said. “The reason I'm close to it, or hit it a lot, is if I start the fourth round with a final spin, this is getting very technical, the wheel is positioned coming out of commercial. For purposes of the overhead shot, that's where it is. And that's about a three-quarter spin and that's my natural spin, so if the fourth round is interrupted and the 5,000 is somewhere else, it's less likely to come up. But if it starts in that spot, it's usually pretty close again just because it's my natural spin and I don't aim, I just spin it and it tends to come up often because of its position. I swear!”
We believe you, Pat. But what about Vanna? The final secret is probably nothing you’ve ever wondered about, but gives us all an inside connection to the show. The woman snapping pictures during ever show is Carole Kaelson.
”I'm from Wichita, Kansas,” she said.
That’s right. Still photographer Carol Kaelson graduated from North High School and has been with Wheel of Fortune for seven years.