Wheel of Fortune History Wiki

"Get off the couch and behind the 'Wheel'."


Wheel of Fortune - Live! was a tour created by Alan Katz and PS Productions, Chicago which was sponsored by GSN and typically went to fairs and arenas. PS Productions went into a three-year agreement with Sony, King World, affiliates carrying the TV show, and various retailers which stipulated a six-month tour of the top 60 markets beginning in May 1996 (although other articles about the tour in 1996 reported a start date of June or July).

The show appears to have stopped touring by the end of December 1999, having a permanent home at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas (specifically the Center Stage Lounge, renamed the Wheel of Fortune Theatre) and airing on local station KVBC. By this point, the show was produced by Bruce J. Starin and renamed Wheel of Fortune - Live on Stage!

It is not known for certain when the stage show finally ended, although this page suggests it closed on June 4, 2000.


Bob Eubanks was host when the tour began, with Michael Burger replacing him later on.

Hostesses were typically local celebrities; during a stop at Foxwoods from September 24-26, 1996, Maria Orsina (runner-up in Miss Connecticut 1996) filled these duties on the 24th while Stacy Perrone (winner of the aforementioned contest) played the role on the 25th and 26th.

Later in Eubanks' run, Deb Carson (one of the TV show's contestant coordinators) became hostess.


All audience members were eligible to play, with contestants chosen randomly by number, although contestant coordinators specifically looked for those showing enthusiasm. Each show played 5-6 games of Wheel (the Wheel itself being a bit smaller, with just 48 easy-to-reach pegs), interspersed with minigames based on The Newlywed Game and Card Sharks (both hosted by Eubanks on TV at one time or another). The Wheel winners faced off in a final game for the grand prize.

By the time the show settled at the MGM Grand on January 17, 2000, the minigames were removed and the games were played for points rather than cash. The two winners with the highest scores played in a final game with another person picked from the audience, and the winner of this game played a unique Bonus Round (see below).


Players who won a game were awarded such prizes as TVs, VCRs, stereos, or a trip for two anywhere on Amtrak. The grand prize was a trip for two to Los Angeles, containing a private tour of Sony Studios and an appearance on GSN.

Consolation prizes included various home, travel, and electronic versions of Wheel plus smaller electronics and other merchandise. Audience members received a game card before the show, which could be redeemed for small prizes given away during it.

When the show settled at the MGM Grand in 2000, the winner of the final game played for a Progressive Big Money Jackpot that started at $25,000 and increased by $500 per show until won: the player spun the Wheel three times, and each spin had to match one of three hidden numbers spun prior to the show; matching one awarded $1,000, with all three awarding the Jackpot to the onstage player and a randomly-selected audience member. The Jackpot is known to have reached at least $68,500 by mid-April.


During the 2000 run, the shows (running 75 minutes each) were done twice on Sunday-Wednesday (at 3:00 and 7:30 PM), twice on Friday (7:30 and 10:00 PM), and three times on Saturday (4:00, 7:30, and 10:00 PM). Later on, this was expanded to have three shows on Saturday-Monday (at 2:00, 4:00, and 7:30 PM) and two on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday (3:00 and 7:30 PM).