Report: “Wheel of Fortune” Adds “Express” Wedge for New Season Thumbnail

Report: “Wheel of Fortune” Adds “Express” Wedge for New Season

Every year Wheel of Fortune manages to stay fresh and exciting by removing tired game play elements and adding new ones to liven up the action.  This season it is being reported that the Jackpot round, currently seen in round one, is being retired after 17 years.  In its place, in round three, is the brand new $1,000 “Express” Wedge.

The Express space will let a player call a letter for $1,000 a piece, as always.  If the letter exists they will have two options.  They can spin the wheel and play like normal or they can play the “Express” by continuing to call consonants at $1,000 a piece.  If the contestant elects to play the “Express,” again, they do not spin the wheel again.  They will get $1,000 a piece no matter what consonant.  They can still buy vowels, and they still cost $250.  There is a big downside, though.  If the contestant calls a letter that is not in the puzzle or solves incorrectly, the contestant will go Bankrupt, lose everything, and control passes to the next player.

Interesting gamble and, personally, far better than the tired and not-very-exciting Jackpot.  You can keep spinning to earn bigger money and prizes and potentially a million dollars in the end game.  However, $1,000 the largest of the not-top-dollar-amount spaces on the wheel, and you won’t have to risk it with luck each spin.  However, one wrong letter or one wrong solve and you lose it all.

What do you think?  I think it sounds like a fantastic addition.

Source : Buy A Vowel

Alex Davis

About the Author

has written 3437 articles on BuzzerBlog.

Alex Davis is an award winning writer and producer based out of Pittsburgh, PA, who works out of New York, Los Angeles, and London. Alex is the head writer and editor for BuzzerBlog and is the president and head of development of 5Hole Productions, specializing in unscripted formats for television and internet play.

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43 responses to "Report: “Wheel of Fortune” Adds “Express” Wedge for New Season"

  • aaaa says:

    If someone knows the puzzle, it could add a few extra grand to their bank. If someone solves the puzzle while there are still uncalled letters while on that space, they’ll beat themselves out of a couple extra grand. WIll they move the prize puzzle or the Mystery Round to round one, or no? They could have made it like the Double Play from 1995-96 where they turn in the card before the spin and make it an “express spin”. Of course if they landed on $5K in round four and knew the puzzle, it would be bad on the budget.

  • Doug Morris says:

    First I’ve read about this. Makes sense to retire the jackpot and replace with the express space.

    The express space on the wheel makes me think of the “go for broke” option in the video game Phraze Craze, a WoF clone likely played at a bar near you. If you “go for broke”, you get one last spin of the spinner — and you must fill in every remaining letter in the puzzle correctly (consonant and vowel) to either win the round and bonus points or lose the round and all the points you racked up.

    Jackpot was only won once in a while. Nice gimmick — but time to try something new.

  • Bob Porrazzo says:

    Sounds like the old Fast Forward categories on Joker’s Wild where if you miss a question you go back where you began the questions. Of course the big twist here is, one mistake and you are wiped out.

    Wonder if any more changes are coming to the wheel, maybe new dollar amounts from the past? $650 came back after being in the late 1970′s daytime run. Maybe $750?

  • Myke25 says:

    Sounds interesting. No one was winning the Jackpot very often anyway…though the Jackpot could have been made more exciting by keeping it on the wheel for the rest of the rounds, accumulating through the show.

    I like to see Wheel mixing things up every year.
    One thing I’d like to see some day…increase the cost of buying a vowel. $250 is less than the lowest dollar amount on the wheel. It gets pretty predictable when players guess their first letter then immediately buy an “E”. Now, if vowels cost, say $1,000, then more risk and more strategy come into play.

    • bmhedgehog says:

      I like that idea, that is if they ever go back to having the Jackpot round seeing that it is going to be retired at the beginning of next season. Also I agree that the $250 cost for the vowels should be ramped up, its been like that since the Chuck Woolery era of Wheel. I also agree with King Erroneous that the dollar values on the wheel need to be ramped up.

  • Tommy says:

    This Express will get old fast because everyone’s going to play it. What’s the point of spinning if there’s only one space on the wheel that’s worth more money than the amount you’re guaranteed to get? Sure, you can go Bankrupt if you get it wrong, but if you lose your turn after getting a bunch of letters on the board, you’re probably not getting the puzzle back anyway. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a one-season-only thing.

    • Air Biscuit says:

      People are going to play it and try it when they know they get $1000 for every instance of a letter called. It’s human nature.

      Tommy, you just pointed out part of the strategy and something the player must think about before deciding to go the Express route each time a correct letter is called. It is “Spin” or “Express” after every successful letter call and it is at this point where the safe exit exists.

      • Alex Davis says:

        Just to note, if you choose to use the Express, you cannot spin again. You either keep calling letters, you solve, or you bankrupt. You’re done spinning that turn until you solve or call a bad letter, which results in a Bankrupt.

        • Wayne says:

          Which kinda makes going for it no risk at all.

          Unless the puzzle is really difficult, a player rarely gets a 2nd turn in one puzzle anyway, so why keep spinning for the same ability to call out letters until you miss? Yes if you miss you go bankrupt, but if you miss on a regular turn, you don’t get the money in front of you anyway unless your turn comes around again that round.

          • Wayne says:

            one more thing–to make it a bigger incentive to go for it and keep calling out letters–round 3 is the prize puzzle; you know, the device that hands the win to the player who happens to solve the round 3 puzzle for doing nothing special other than they just happened to solve the round 3 puzzle.

            There is no real risk for using it, and a very big reward = everyone will go for it.

    • King Erroneous says:

      You might not if you don’t know the puzzle (eg. first spin of the round) and you are sitting on the million wedge or 1/2 a car.

      • Wayne says:

        Considering how rare it is to win either of those prizes, the mathematical risk vs. reward is still very small risk, very big reward.

  • Brian "Sonic Whammy" Sapinski says:

    Alex, a clarification is in order here. You said if you mess up, you “go Bankrupt, lose everything, and control passes to the next player.” Does that mean that you ALSO lose whatever you won from previous rounds? It sounds like you were just redundant there, but this is a big detail, so…

    • Alex Davis says:

      Just the round. They’ve never totally bankrupt anyone and they probably never will.

      • bmhedgehog says:

        I’d think that Merv would be turning in his grave if that were to ever happen.

      • Brian "Sonic Whammy" Sapinski says:

        OK, I was gonna say. Proof how one little clause changes how a rule gets interpreted. (Insert any sports or political joke here.)

      • WilliamPorygon says:

        Well, technically, there was the risk of losing money put “on account” during the shopping era, but yeah… they’d have to make the potential award game-breaking in order for anyone to risk their previous round winnings to go for the express.

  • Narro87 says:

    Wow. This’ll be interesting to see. I like how it speeds up a round similarly to how a Prize Puzzle or Jackpot nudges contestants into solving earlier, but the risk/reward of going Bankrupt is interesting. Unlike the Mystery round–which desperately needs some help, IMO–the player only has themselves to blame if they end up going Bankrupt while playing in Express mode. I’ll be interested to see a preview clip of the round closer to the new season. :D

  • Glenn says:

    They needed an easy way to make up money fast to cover up that most players have realized that the value of the prize puzzle normally is enough to put you over for good. Yes the car has helped abate that but then it takes the cash element out of it. it was getting back (and with the increasing value of the prize wedges.) to almost a shopping like feel. this goes back to the playing for cash element of this version.Like it…and yes it reminds me of Fast forward or Bullseye.

  • Lary New Bern says:

    There should be higher dollar values on the wheel!!! $300 was a lot more money back in 1975. My favorite wheel configurations are from the 1980s and early 1990s. I’d like to see those brought back adding $1000 to each space. I also prefer the Free Spin to the Free Play. Put the space back but a contestant must call a letter in the puzzle to claim it just like a prize wedge. Last, vowels raised to $1250.

  • Keith b says:

    love that idea jackpot wasn’t being won much anyways

  • Joshua C. says:

    Why not put the Express in Round 4, to optimize the strategy angle? Putting it in Round 3 makes Round 4 and beyond even more irrelevant, except when Pat hits the Big Fella, of course. I’ve never fully understood why the wheel is bare in Round 4 to begin with. If Pat were to land on a special wedge they can just edit it out like they do now whenever he lands on Bankrupt.

    • MarioGS says:

      Because half the episodes these days (if not more) have Round 4 start with the Final Spin. They remove any remaining extra wedges in time for Round 4.

      • Poochy.EXE says:

        This makes me wonder, if the Express Wedge speeds up Round 3, what will this do to Round 4 winnings? If I’m not mistaken, the initial wheel position at the start of Round 4 is intentionally set so that the $5,000 wedge’s distance to the red player is approximately the same as that of Pat’s average spin. This means if the Final Spin occurs at the very start of Round 4, Pat will usually either hit the $5K or produce a near miss. But if Round 3 is sped up, Round 4 most likely won’t start with the Final Spin. So does this me we can expect to see fewer big wins in Round 4?

        (Of course, I could be completely wrong about all this, especially since it’s been quite a while since I’ve actually watched Wheel.)

        • Wayne says:

          or even better, with the extra time, they could slow down their editing so we can see the puzzle on our screens for longer periods of time during the game.

  • Jon says:

    Round 1: The Regular Round
    Round 2: The Mystery Round [suggestion: Change the format to use a mystery category. It is not revealed until the puzzle is solved]
    Round 3: The Express Round
    Round 4: The Big Money Round

  • Adam says:

    Will there be background music playing once someone decides to “Hop aboard the Express”?

  • Alex says:

    This seems like it’ll help cut out some round three car wins, for better or worse.

    • Wayne says:

      Not a big time regular watcher these days, but how many round three car wins were there in the last two seasons?

  • woffan2008 says:

    No. Just a train whistle sound when the wedge is hit, like 1/2 Car.

  • woffan2008 says:

    Alex, there is also something else you left out: if someone decides to go for the Express, they cannot back out at any point. If let’s say I want to call 3 consonants and then spin the wheel, I can’t. The only way Express ends is if I solve or I guess a bad letter. Check out the post make here by MarioGS: http://buyavowel.boards.net/thread/5281/official-season-31-information?page=12

  • CarShark says:

    I think that this could speed up play nicely. Wheel’s always been very good about keeping things fresh.

  • Schmolik says:

    How about a regular $10,000 space once and for all? It’s been $5,000 since the 1980′s! Or just have the $5,000 on the wheel in round 3 instead of a second $3,500 round ($3,500 seems irregular anyway).

  • stephen says:

    I’d really like to see “Express Wedge” be more “$1,000 for each consonant remaining”.

    Unless the true reason for this is to make Vanna walk more.

  • Paul Silotti says:

    I think the best thing for everyone is to hold judgement until we see the new wedge in action.

  • Ron Stoppable. says:

    Yeah. I was wondering about that. I’m hoping to see some eps this season and find out how that works, but it was good to read this so I have some idea. I don’t know how many eps I’ll see this work. I was out last night and sometimes I have other things going on. It seems like a final spin round except that it’s exclusive to only one player. Though like the mystery wedge, there’s always the risk of going Bankrupt. So if it were me, I’d wait until I know the puzzle to use something like that. Still, that’s exciting news. I look forward to seeing an ep where somebody hits that wedge and see that player in action. I’m going to miss the Jackpot round. I know that has been a feature of the game ever since 96 even before they changed the puzzle board. But I guess it’s not the same without Charlie O’Donnel around to talk about it. *sigh*

  • Ryan says:

    Totally agree that the money needs to be revamped. While yes, people are winning tens of thousands of dollars on each episode $300 seems like a small amount. I think $500 should be the lowest amount with vowels costing, $550. Also, $1000 or $1250 or $1500 and things in between should be added. With the $10,000 space gone after the the addition of the million, I think something more the $5000 should be added. I would love to see that BIG MONEY wedge come back. At lease once a game, that thing read $25,000 for a correctly guessed consenant!

  • William says:

    RE: Wheel Of Fortune adding “Express” wedge:

    Just another cheap gimmick.

  • […] of Fortune retires the “Jackpot” wedge and adds the “Express” which you can read about here.  Be sure to let us know what you think of […]

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