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Wheel of Fortune Season 16 title card.png

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A timeline for Season 16 of Wheel of Fortune, which aired in first-run from September 7, 1998 through June 4, 1999.

Season Changes

  • The opening graphics change again, placing the show's logo over the door frame during the chant. A red version of the two-row logo is seen on a marquee above the door frame; the doors themselves have the Columbia TriStar logo on the left and "STAGE 11" on the right, with a small "ON AIR" sign in front of them. The logo above the marquee is a flashing lights variation of the logo introduced last season, with each word lighting up during the chant. After the chant, the doors open to reveal the studio. Towards the fade from the Sony Pictures Studios exterior to the interior, a photo of Pat and Vanna can be barely seen on the left towards the pan to Stage 11.
  • The Friday Finals format is eliminated, with a single exception for this season. As was the case before September 1989, contestants once again stay for only one episode. Pat later reveals that this was done for two reasons: to lessen favoritism toward contestants who win big over contestants who play well despite not winning, and to allow for more contestants to play every season.
  • Due to aforementioned retirement of the Friday Finals the Jackpot no longer starts at $10,000 on Friday episodes.
  • The Wheel is once again altered:
    • Surprise is retired. As a result, a second Wheel Prize (which was previously used in the now retired Friday Finals) now takes Surprise's former place on the yellow $400 near the Lose a Turn.
    • Jackpot moves to the green $500. As a result, $500 is absent during the Jackpot Round until the first four weeks of Season 17.
    • The three pink $250 wedges are increased: the one between the yellow $400 and the red $900, as well as the one between the yellow $400 and the Lose a Turn, become pink $300s. The one between the top dollar value and the red $600 is changed to a yellow $300, while the purple $500 is decreased to $250. The yellow $1,000, present underneath the top dollar values, is replaced by a blank white or gray wedge.
  • The totals of Bonus Round prizes are now in Triplex Condensed.
  • Pat's wardrobe provider is now Façonnable.
  • In earlier episodes of this season, the www.wheeloffortune.com URL still appears between the credits and copyright date, and the closing theme still plays over the 1989 KingWorld logo. Later in the season, the logo is set on a red background, with two spinning globes under the word "Play". Then, the Wheel of Fortune logo appears in dark green with white outline, and the word "ONLINE" below, with the URL www.wheeloffortune.com. The music is an upbeat instrumental techno tune, complete with a remix of the opening chant, with category chimes at the end; earlier episodes with this promo play the music into the KingWorld logo with the category chimes. From early-mid 1999, the music ends as soon as the logo does and the KingWorld logo's music returns until the logo as a whole is replaced by a new one that replaces the bars with a ribbon to form the "star", beneath a sunny sky background complete with thunderclap.
  • Throughout this season and the next, there are an abnormally high amount of puzzles that are fewer than ten letters and/or lacking in the five most common consonants. The reason behind this is unknown, although such puzzles occurring in Jackpot rounds may be considered a form of budget control.
  • The $25,000 graphic for Bonus Round wins is now golden text which zooms in and leaves a drop shadow.

September 1998

  • The weeks of September 7 and 14 are taped at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This is the last time until 2009 that the season begins with a road show. During these two weeks:
    • No contestant backdrops are used.
    • The audience does the opening chant.
    • All of the prizes are American-made.
    • Due to the smaller size of the Benedum Center, any prizes won in the Bonus Round are shown on the video screen instead of onstage.
    • The Bonus Round window is shaped like a keystone.
  • During the week of September 7 (Family Week):
    • Charlie's intro is "From Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, America's game salutes the American working family!", followed by pictures of working men and women in gear-shaped "windows".
    • The three-round structure is used.
    • The highest-scoring team is awarded a trip for ten to Hawaii worth $49,450.
  • On September 7:
    • Although a repeated S is called in Round 1, it is not acknowledged as such.
    • Round 2 (LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE) is categorized as Classic TV instead of Title, an unusual move given that the name also applies to the book series from which the show was derived.
    • Contestants Tony and Janet solve the bonus puzzle FLIGHT CREW despite getting no help from their extra letters.
    • In the final segment, Pat and Vanna chat with Linda Chavez-Thompson, then the executive vice president of the AFL-CIO.
  • On September 8:
    • Vanna wears a sleeveless top and pants.
    • Unusually, Pat acknowledges that time is running out before the Speed-Up bells sound.
  • On September 9:
    • The Round 2 puzzle FLORENCE HENDERSON AS CAROL BRADY (Classic TV) is followed by a trivia question asking who was the housekeeper on the TV series The Brady Bunch. Contestants Lisa and Michele provide the correct answer of Alice.
    • The Round 3 Prize is $5,000 in groceries from the United Food and Commercial Workers union.
    • There is a $7,600 Jackpot win.
    • Neither Thing nor Phrase is used in the main game.
  • On September 10:
    • Clips of contestants Marquerite and Marita winning later appear in the 3000th and 4000th clip shows.
    • For the only known time until the 2010s, both Prizes are over $10,000: a $10,395 travel trailer in Round 2 and an $11,800 trip to Las Vegas with a set of golf clubs in Round 3.
    • Pat does not hear the Final Spin bells until after contestants Judy and Gary spin.
    • Neither Thing nor Phrase is used.
  • On September 11:
    • No vowels are bought in Round 2.
    • In the final segment, Pat and Vanna reveal the highest scoring team of the week (Tony and Janet).
  • During the week of September 14, Vanna does a different cold open on every episode:
    • Monday and Friday: Vanna stands before a crowd at Three Rivers Stadium and says, "I'm at Three Rivers Stadium, and it's Pittsburgh Week on..." followed by said crowd doing the chant.
    • Tuesday: Vanna overlooks the Monongahela River near the Duquesne Incline and says, "From Pittsburgh, it's Wheel of Fortune!"
    • Wednesday: Vanna stands in front of Point State Park Fountain, gestures to across the Allegheny River, and says, "We're in Pittsburgh, home of the Three Rivers Stadium, and it's Wheel of Fortune!"
    • Thursday: Vanna looks through a viewfinder from Points of View Park before turning to the camera and saying, "That's Pittsburgh, and this is Wheel of Fortune."
  • On September 14:
    • Fred Rogers makes a cameo after he is the answer to Round 2's Who Said It? puzzle IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD.
    • Contestant Ray's letters fill in the bonus puzzle FORK entirely.
    • The bonus prize is a $33,030 bundle consisting of a food basket, barbecue grill, and Dodge Durango.
    • Neither Thing nor Phrase is used in the main game.
    • Pat and Vanna do not sign off.
  • On September 15:
    • No vowels are bought in Round 1.
    • The Round 2 puzzle NEWLYWEDS JAMES BROLIN & BARBRA STREISAND is the first known instance of Husband & Wife using a descriptive term.
  • On September 16:
    • The Round 2 prize is a Pittsburgh Penguins fan package including jerseys and season tickets.
    • Franco Harris makes a cameo after the puzzle in Round 2 FRANCO HARRIS NAMED SUPER BOWL MVP (The 70's) is solved.
    • Contestant Jason is credited with $1,050 instead of $800 in Round 3 due to a vowel not being deducted from his score. This does not affect the outcome.
    • Jason sweeps the game and wins a Dodge Grand Caravan in the Bonus Round.
  • On September 17:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $5,000 shopping spree at Ross Park Mall or any other mall owned by Simon Property Group.
    • Round 2's Where Are We? puzzle uses three clues.
  • On September 18:
    • The Round 3 Prize includes tickets to the Broadway musical Ragtime.
    • Contestant Ed spins the Wheel before Pat reveals the category for Round 3. Pat lets the spin count and the game proceeds as normal.
    • All three contestants hit Bankrupt consecutively in Round 3.
    • Round 4 (JUDGE JUDY) is a rare instance of both a puzzle shorter than ten letters and one with none of the five main consonants; no letters are revealed until the sixth turn.
    • The ding is accidentally used on the first correct letter of the Speed-Up.
    • Tom Murphy, then-mayor of Pittsburgh, appears with his son during the closing chat.
  • During the week of September 21, one of the bonus prizes is a trip to Seattle and a boat; shots of the Space Needle with the Wheel painted on its top are shown when Pat describes it.
  • On September 21:
    • The $25,000 is no longer taken out of the W-H-E-E-L envelopes if it is won.
    • A video wall is added behind the contestants.
    • The Puzzler round is made official. Unlike the "test run" on the Season 15 finale, several changes are made:
      • A unique set of bells introduces the round, and the puzzle reveal chime no longer sounds when the blanks are revealed.
      • The category strip wipe is an orange spark with "PUZZLER" written in white Comic Sans.
      • The Bonus Round timer beeps and buzzer are used to indicate the five-second countdown.
    • For the first of only three times, the Puzzler is in Round 3.
    • Contestant Jeannette sweeps the game and wins a trip to Plymouth, Massachusetts and a Mercedes-Benz C230 in the Bonus Round.
  • On September 22, the Round 2 Prize wedge uses white Clarendon text on a gradient background.
  • On September 23, the Round 2 puzzle CITIZEN KANE VOTED THE GREATEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME (Headline) is followed by a trivia question asking what movie finished second according to the American Film Institute; contestant Andre does not give the right answer of Casablanca.
  • On September 24, the High Rollers chimes do not sound in Round 2 when Pat asks for the product identified by that round's Slogan puzzle.
  • On September 25, the Round 2 Prize is $2,500 credit to Nike.
  • On September 28:
    • Vanna wears a scarf, which she takes off and gives to Pat after they walk out.
    • The Round 2 Prize wedge uses white Clarendon text on a gradient background.
    • For the second of only three times, the Puzzler is in Round 3; the puzzle KILTS is the first of several Puzzlers with only 5 letters at the shortest throughout its lifespan.
  • On September 29:
    • The Round 2 Prize wedge uses white Clarendon text on a gradient background.
    • A comma is used for the only known time: specifically, the Round 2 Fill In the Number puzzle ##,### LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA BY JULES VERNE (20,000). In addition, the High Rollers chimes do not sound when Pat asks for the number.

October 1998

  • On October 1:
    • Round 2's Where Are We? puzzle uses three clues.
    • Contestant Roger picks two N's in the Speed-Up Round but is only credited with $300. This ends up not mattering, as he does not solve.
    • Roger finishes with only $4,650.
  • On October 2:
    • The Round 1 puzzle THE HOWIE MANDEL SHOW (Show Biz) is a rare instance of the category also being part of the answer.
    • The Round 2 Prize is an Italjet Velocifero scooter.
    • The Round 2 puzzle A CATERPILLAR BECOMES A BUTTERFLY is followed by a factually incorrect Puzzler of COCOON (a butterfly emerges from a chrysalis, not a cocoon).
    • Contestant Shirley solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • Shirley sweeps the game and wins $25,000 in the Bonus Round.
  • On October 5:
    • Contestant Kevin sings the original "Changing Keys" in chicken clucks during his interview. This has been seen in several retrospectives.
    • The Round 2 puzzle MEL GIBSON & DANNY GLOVER is followed by a trivia question asking for the number of Lethal Weapon films Gibson and Glover starred in together. Contestant Greg provides the correct answer of four.
    • Contestant Liesl fills in the entire Round 3 Before & After puzzle LEATHER COAT OF PAINT by herself.
    • Round 5 (LOCKSMITH) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
  • On October 6:
    • WHEEL OF FORTUNE GOES NIGHTTIME is the Round 1 puzzle (The 80's).
    • The Round 2 Prize is a Zenith TV, which displays the various road shows from the past when Charlie describes it.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 2.
    • Vanna forgets to touch the P in the bonus puzzle I'M BOOKED UP until just before it is solved.
  • On October 7, contestant Anthony jumps around the set after winning $25,000 in the Bonus Round. Footage of this is used in the ceremonial 3,000th episode.
  • On October 8:
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: the Puzzler (Round 2) and Round 4 are Place, and Round 5 and the Bonus Round are Thing.
    • Round 5 (GREAT DANE) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
    • After contestant Renee wins a Land Rover Discovery LE in the Bonus Round, she jumps on her husband, Gary. Later, in the closing segment, Pat tells Vanna "16 years on the show, and you've never jumped on me like that", to which Vanna responds "Well, you've never given me a car." This clip has been seen in many retrospectives.
  • On October 9:
    • Contestant Mark does an impression of John Travolta during his interview. This was seen on the 4,000th episode.
    • The Round 2 prize is a framed photograph of The Beatles signed by all four members of the band.
    • The Round 2 puzzle KING FERDINAND & QUEEN ISABELLA is a very rare instance of a Husband & Wife who is not alive at the time of taping.
    • Round 5 (TASTE BUDS) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
    • Round 1 and the Puzzler (Round 2) are Event, while Round 5 is Things and the Bonus Round is Thing.
  • During the week of October 12:
    • For one of the only times in the show's history, no cars are offered in the Bonus Round. The prizes this week other than the $25,000 are four different shopping sprees: in Rome, Paris, Houston, and Beverly Hills. The Rome trip is chosen on Monday-Wednesday, and the Paris one on Thursday and Friday.
    • For no particular reason, the board's lights flash during every Puzzler round this week.
  • On October 12:
    • The Round 2 prize is a $2,500 Blockbuster gift certificate.
    • The Puzzler is in Round 3 for the third of only three times.
  • On October 13:
    • The Round 2 Prize is $2,500 credit to Cabela's.
    • Six rounds are played.
    • The second Bankrupt and Prizes are removed from the wheel as Round 6 goes into Speed-Up.
  • On October 14, there are two sets of repeated categories: the Puzzler (Round 1) and Round 4 are Thing, while Round 3 is Places and the Bonus Round is Place.
  • On October 15:
    • The Round 3 puzzle SCIENTISTS PIERRE & MARIE CURIE is both the second known instance of Husband & Wife using a descriptive term, and a very rare instance of that category using a couple who is not alive at the time of taping.
    • Contestant Rhonda mispronounces the last word of the above puzzle with only the U missing, but is credited with a correct response. This does not affect the outcome.
  • On October 16, the second C in the bonus puzzle MAKE A CHOICE refuses to reveal for several seconds.
  • All five Bonus Rounds are lost on the week of October 12, part of a seven-day losing streak.
  • For no particular reason, the Puzzler rounds during the week of October 19 do not use the timer beeps. This catches Pat off-guard on October 19 and 20.
  • On October 19, contestant Nick utters a profanity after failing to identify the subject of Round 2's Who Is It? puzzle SUNDANCE KID WHO LATER WON BEST DIRECTOR OSCAR (Robert Redford). This is censored with a "boing" sound effect.
  • On October 20 (taped August 28):
    • In the opening segment, Pat asks for a cameraman to get a closeup of Vanna's face to show that she has eaten some candy which has turned her tongue red. The two then eat more candy during the closing chat and show off their tongues to the camera. This was seen in several retrospectives.
    • Pat can be heard asking during the Puzzler whether the contestant is allowed only one guess; between his confusion and the lack of timer beeps, she appears to get at least two extra seconds, but this ends up not mattering as she still does not give the correct response.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 3.
  • On October 21, Round 1 is a Before & After of PROPER NAME THAT TUNE, and Round 2 is in the category Proper Name.
  • On October 22:
    • Round 2's Fill In the Blank puzzle ? CAKE ? SIGN ? THE PAVEMENT (Pound) does not have its question marks aligned underneath each other, even though such an arrangement could have fit on the board.
    • There is an $11,150 Jackpot win.
  • On October 23:
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: Place in the Puzzler (Round 2) and Round 3, Phrase in Round 4 and the Bonus Round.
    • Unusually, Round 4 (NOW THAT'S WHERE YOU COME IN) is the longest puzzle.
  • During the week of October 26:
    • Pat and Vanna enter from a gate at center stage.
    • A jack-o'-lantern is projected into the center of the Wheel.
    • Except on October 30, the Puzzler round does not use the timer beeps.
    • The Bonus Round envelopes feature Halloween graphics on the top flap.
  • On October 26, the Round 2 Prize is cash and a supply of Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie Pops from Tootsie Roll Industries.
  • On October 27:
    • Pat forgets to give the category for the Puzzler. After contestant Lewis fails to solve it, Pat then tells him the category and gives him another five seconds, although he still does not solve it.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 2.
    • There is a $12,200 Jackpot win.
    • The Round 4 Same Name puzzle NIGHT & STICK SHIFT is a rare instance of a puzzle with only one vowel.
    • Pat forgets to acknowledge that no more vowels remain in Round 4 until after Lewis asks to buy an A. As a result, the $250 is not deducted from his score and he does not lose his turn.
    • Neither Thing nor Phrase is used.
  • On October 28:
    • Vanna wears a dress shirt and pants.
    • The Round 2 Prize is an antique popcorn popper, a year's supply of Jolly Time popcorn, and a BreakMate soft drink dispenser.
    • Contestant Aaron forgets to pick the Round 3 prize in that round. This ends up not mattering as he does not solve.
  • On October 29, no vowels are bought in Round 1.
  • On October 30:
    • The Puzzler (SLEEPY HOLLOW, in Round 1) is both the season's only appearance of Fictional Place and its only appearance in a Puzzler.
    • Round 4 is a Before & After of FAT FREE SPIN.
    • Contestant Jim sweeps the main game (except for the Puzzler) but loses a gold and silver package in the Bonus Round.
    • In the closing segment, Pat and Vanna sit next to a fake skeleton on-set and ask it, "How long have you been waiting to be a contestant on Wheel?" This has been seen in many retrospectives.

November 1998

  • On November 2:
    • Vera Morris, voted Miss North Carolina in the 1998 Miss USA pageant, is a contestant.
    • The Round 2 Prize is $2,500 credit to Foot Locker.
    • The wipe for Show Biz changes from a pair of spotlights to a golden star.
    • The Puzzler bells are removed; unusually, no other sound effect replaces them. In turn, Pat now announces the Puzzler prior to the start of the round in which it occurs.
    • The Puzzler (Round 2), Round 4, and the Bonus Round are Thing.
  • On November 3:
    • As Pat and Vanna walk out, they are followed by a remote-controlled golf cart which was one of the previous day's Prizes.
    • Contestant Katrina leaves out the S when solving the Round 4 puzzle DENTIST'S DRILL SERGEANT, but it still credited with a correct response. This does not affect the outcome.
    • Round 5 (ATM CARD) is both a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters and of one with only one vowel.
    • The bonus puzzle FRIDAY is inexplicably categorized as Thing instead of the more logical Event.
  • On November 4:
    • The Round 1 puzzle CLARK KENT is followed by a Puzzler of KRYPTONITE. The former is both a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters and an instance of the Puzzler being longer than the puzzle before it.
    • There is a $7,950 Jackpot win. In a rather rare occurrence, it comes with only vowels remaining.
  • On November 5:
    • Contestant Jim wins despite not claiming $15,650 in Round 3.
    • Jim finishes with only $4,550.
  • On November 6, the puzzle board lights flash during the Puzzler.
  • November 9 is Soap Stars Week, with soap star/contestant teams. During this week:
    • Charlie's intro is modified to "From the Sony Pictures Studios, it's Soap Stars Week on..." followed by the chant.
    • The round structure of the season premiere week is used.
    • The celebrities' house minimum for weeks with celebrity/civilian teams is increased to $10,000.
    • Before each commercial break, a clip is shown of each soap star on his or her respective show.
    • The stars are Tyler Christopher, Lauralee Bell, and Jensen Ackles on Monday; Melody Thomas Scott, Ingo Rademacher, and Allison Sweeney on Tuesday; Vanessa Marcil, Austin Peck, and Hunter Tylo on Wednesday; Billy Warlock, Renee Jones, and Joshua Morrow on Thursday; and Kristoff St. John, Julie Pinson, and Ronn Moss on Friday.
    • The soap stars' name tags are the usual shape with a sparkling star behind it.
  • On November 9:
    • The Round 1 puzzle FASHION SHOW is followed by a Puzzler of DRESSED TO KILL, making it one of the few Puzzlers longer than the answer before it.
    • The Round 2 Prize is a backstage pass to a taping of The Young and the Restless.
    • Tyler Christopher and teammate Lauren sweep the game and win a BMW Z3 Roadster in the Bonus Round.
  • On November 10:
    • The winning team (Allison Sweeney and her contestant) has only $2,450 before the Bonus Round.
    • The bonus puzzle is HAIRCUT. Less than a month prior, on October 12, the bonus puzzle was a very similar HAIRDO.
  • On November 11:
    • All three teams are male-female combos.
    • Free Spin comes loose during the course of Round 1, but it is fixed before Round 2.
    • Vanessa Marcil places her name tag on her hip during her first spin in Round 2 onward.
    • The Round 2 Prize is a backstage pass to a taping of Days of Our Lives.
    • No Round 3 Prize is used; even more unusually, the Jackpot is used despite Round 3 going to Speed-Up after only one spin.
    • The winning team (Vanessa Marcil and John) finishes with only $2,500, and the cumulative total among all three contestants is only $3,200 (excluding celebrity minimums).
  • On November 12:
    • Rhyme Time debuts in Round 1; the puzzle FINE WINE is both a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters and of one with only three unique consonants.
    • Billy Warlock and his teammate Jennifer spin only once in the entire game, calling a correct letter on $550 but losing their turn to a wrong vowel.
    • The Puzzler THE KENNEDYS (after Round 2) is categorized as Proper Name, suggesting that the show has not yet begun using Family for the names of individual families.
    • Joshua Morrow and his teammate Lynn sweep the game (except for the Puzzler) and win $25,000 in the Bonus Round.
  • On November 13:
    • The Round 1 puzzle DYNASTY is followed by a Puzzler of JOHN FORSYTHE. The former is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters, one with only one vowel, and an instance of the Puzzler being longer than the puzzle before it.
    • The Round 3 Prize is a trip to see the Soap Opera Digest Awards.
    • The Round 3 puzzle SHAKE WELL BEFORE OPENING NIGHT (Before & After) is one of only two instances after 1996 of a four-row puzzle being used in the Speed-Up. This is also a rare instance of the category also containing part of the answer.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 3.
  • The weeks of November 16 and 23 are taped at the Las Vegas Hilton. During these weeks:
    • The name tags use a thinner font than usual.
    • The openings are mostly the same as Season 15 except for Vanna driving the Shelby Cobra.
    • The Bonus Round window is shaped like the famous Las Vegas sign.
    • During Puzzler rounds, the "wrong letter" buzzer is used instead of the "time's up" buzzer from the Bonus Round.
  • On November 16:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $2,500 Giorgio Armani shopping spree, which is modeled by two unknown men.
    • Round 4 (HOT SPOT) is both a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters and of one with only one vowel.
    • Contestant Derek Rose wins a $106,975 custom-built Shelby Cobra in the Bonus Round. This is the most expensive non-cash prize ever offered on the show until April 2021. His total of $115,425 is the only six-figure total by a contestant or team between the retirement of the Friday Finals format and the introduction of the Bonus Wheel.
  • On November 17:
    • Vanna wears a suit.
    • Pat forgets to give the category for the Puzzler.
    • The Puzzler (Round 1) is Things, while Round 3 and the Bonus Round are Thing.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 4.
  • On November 18:
    • No vowels are bought in Round 2.
    • Donny and Marie Osmond make a cameo after their names are the Round 2 puzzle DONNY & MARIE.
  • On November 19:
    • No vowels are bought in Round 1.
    • The Puzzler round from this episode, BIG TIPS, later goes viral when various Internet videos comment on the implied profanity made when only the P is missing in said puzzle.
    • The Round 3 Prize is an Elvis Presley jukebox worth $11,750.
    • Contestant Herb finishes in second place with $21,300.
  • November 20 is the ceremonial 3,000th episode, although it is actually #2,980. It is a clip show with commentary from Pat and Vanna.
    • The show begins with the intro from the January 18, 1978 episode; this cuts to the 1998 intro after nine seconds, followed by a montage of the various openings in chronological order (minus the 1994 and 1996 ones), over an audio montage of contestants, Pat, and the game's 1989-current sound effects. The end of the 1992-94 "dancing wedges" intro ends the montage, dissolving to a "3000th Show from Las Vegas" logo before wiping to Charlie onstage in a tuxedo. Charlie's introduction, over a timpani roll, is "And now, ladies and gentlemen, for the 3,000th time, it's my pleasure to introduce the stars of our show: Pat Sajak and Vanna White!"
    • Pat and Vanna sit in director's chairs at center stage, with a ceramic Dalmatian by Vanna's chair. This is the first known appearance of one since the retirement of shopping.
    • A unique music bumper is used at the end of each segment except the last.
    • In the first segment:
      • The first montage is of various contestant reactions set to big-band music, including two circa 1985 (Joan and Larry), one from the third sunburst era (Kelley), and one from Season 7 (Linda). The last one shown is contestant Richard, who chased Pat across the stage on May 6.
      • This segues into various other moments spliced within Brian's rap from December 5, 1994. These include Gale from late 1984 (James/Gale/Sharon) solving CLEVELAND OHIO with just the N revealed for $5,000, followed by various occupation statements (including Craig from the third sunburst era mentioning that he works "for a major government", Charles from 1983-84 being "a lady's gentleman", and the clown/mortician Frank from March 4, 1998).
      • Following the rap, more winners' reactions are shown from previous Bonus Rounds, ending with the aforementioned contestant Richard carrying Pat back to the Wheel.
      • Merv Griffin recounts the show's creation, followed by two clips from the first 1974 pilot hosted by Edd Byrnes (Rounds 2 and 1, respectively), which is claimed to be the pilot despite Shopper's Bazaar in 1973 and the second Byrnes pilot. While original hostess Susan Stafford appears in the footage, she is not acknowledged.
      • The 1974 clips are followed by a clip of a circa-1985 shopping segment, including the purchase of a ceramic Dalmatian.
      • Pat and Vanna mention the retirement of the trilon-based puzzle board, including a clip of Vanna revealing FOR SALE on February 21, 1997; time-lapse footage of the old "home base" board being wheeled off and the monitor board being set up; Vanna revealing the S in the new board's first puzzle (VALENCIA SPAIN); and shots of various pop culture-related puzzles.
      • The next segment discusses the show's popularity. A clip is shown of Pat and Vanna doing a whistle-stop tour of the East Coast (February 1987); various magazine covers and comic strips that have referenced the show; Ronald Reagan name-dropping Vanna in a speech; and a clip of the Friends episode "The One with the Princess Leia Fantasy" (September 19, 1996), in which Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) watches an early Season 14 episode with the puzzle MOUNT RUSHMORE (itself done specifically for that episode).
      • Various international adaptations are briefly shown, although strangely not the British or Australian ones despite both still being on the air at this point.
    • In the second segment:
      • Merv appears again, recounting Vanna's selection. This is followed by two clips of her first audition episode in November 1982, her first entrance as permanent hostess, and her first turned letter.
      • Robert Palmer's "Simply Irresistible" plays over a montage of Vanna's outfits.
      • Vanna then shows a montage of her pregnancy announcements and on-air introductions of her children, Nicholas and Giovanna.
    • In the third segment:
      • The road-show opening music plays over a montage of road show openings, concluding with three outtakes from the opening of two San Diego episodes in May 1997.
      • "Simply Irresistible" plays again over a humorous montage of Pat's "wardrobe", but it stops about 10 seconds in.
      • The clips switch to Mary Wells' "My Guy" over a montage of Pat's quirky behavior, including people picking him up (one from the first half of Season 1); singing the 1957 Zorro theme after the December 15, 1994 Bonus Round; a shot of his frog hat on March 17, 1987 (daytime); eating a cake after the aforementioned circa-1985 shopping clip; a remark after a puzzle of HOME IS WHERE YOU HANG YOUR HAT during the third sunburst era; stripping (sped up) after Darlene retires with $119,351 on November 1, 1996; various "Charlie, put down that _____!" Jackpot intros; glancing at a "Practically Perfect People" version of himself while introducing a Round 2 Prize (circa 1985, with the Winter decorations on the walls); and (from a different episode between mid-December 1984 and June 1986) dropping said item on the Wheel as he signs off.
    • In the fourth segment, Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston's "It Takes Two" plays over a montage of Pat and Vanna's interactions, including their kiss from his last daytime show (January 9, 1989); inhaling helium from on-set balloons (January 9, 1998); pieing each other; Pat cutting her hair on December 1, 1995; and trading their places for the November 21, 1996 Bonus Round. "It Takes Two" is also used as the bumper.
    • In the final segment, Pat and Vanna do not do their traditional sign-offs. Instead, they simply thank the viewers for watching the past 3,000 episodes, and then kiss one another, mouth to mouth, as they say good-bye.
    • The credits are done under the "3000th Show from Las Vegas" logo.
  • November 23 is Family Week. During this week, the round structure of the season premiere week is used.
  • On November 23:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a Panasonic camcorder with Zenith TV, which displays the opening from the 3000th episode when Charlie describes it.
    • No vowels are bought in Rounds 3 or 4.
    • The Speed-Up bells ring as contestants Quandra and Shyetta start to spin, at which point he stops the Wheel and resets it before doing the Final Spin.
  • On November 24, Round 3 (JELLY BELLY) is a very rare instance of both a puzzle with only one vowel and one with none of the five main consonants. In addition, no letters are revealed until the seventh turn.
  • On November 23 and 24, in an usual occurrence for a three-round structure game, a fifth round is played.
  • On November 25, contestants Patti and Kaci's letters fill in the bonus puzzle SIBLINGS entirely.
  • On November 26, the Round 2 puzzle THE RAIN IN SPAIN STAYS MAINLY IN THE PLAIN is categorized as Quotation instead of Rhyme Time.
  • On November 27:
    • There is an $8,900 Jackpot win; strangely, the "fireworks" effect does not appear.
    • For the final time, only three rounds are played, and $5,000 is not used.
  • On November 26 and 27, six females play.
  • During the week of November 23, all ten winners are female.
  • On November 30:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a Zenith TV, which displays the various road shows from the past when Charlie describes it.
    • Pat forgets to acknowledge that no more vowels remain in Round 2 until after contestant Robert asks to buy one.
    • Robert wins despite not claiming $16,500 in Round 4.

December 1998

  • On December 1, the Round 3 puzzle THROWING A SURPRISE PARTY is one space further to the left than usual.
  • On December 2, no vowels are bought in Round 1.
  • On December 3:
    • No vowels are bought in Round 1.
    • Contestant Jerry solves the Round 2 Fill In the Number puzzle #### A SPACE ODYSSEY as "2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY". He is credited with a correct answer, and given the $2,000 bonus for the correct number.
    • All three contestants hit Bankrupt consecutively in Round 4.
    • Round 5 (INNKEEPER) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
    • None of the puzzles have L in them.
    • During the closing chat, Pat brings out a Free Spin token and asks why it is not called "Free Turn" since it can also be used to buy a vowel. Interestingly, he previously did the same during the closing chat on June 1, 1995.
  • On December 4:
    • The Round 2 Prize is $2,500 credit to the Rand McNally store.
    • The dollar sign in the aforementioned Prize's value disappears before the wipe appears.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 5.
    • The Puzzler (Round 2) is People and Round 5 is Person, while Round 3 is Things and the Bonus Round is Thing.
    • For the first time, the $25,000 is won more than once in a week.
  • On December 7:
    • Pat references a "null" cycle in Round 1 by assuming that contestant April still wants to hold on to her Free Spin despite not asking her once before.
    • Counting the above cycle, thirteen turns are lost in Round 1.
    • Against normal practice, the buzzer sounds on a repeated N in Round 1.
  • On December 8:
    • There is a rare instance of a contestant losing their turn with only vowels remaining: with only the U missing from the Round 3 puzzle GOUDA CHEESE, contestant Malak buys an I.
    • The Bonus Round puzzle HYMN is the second of only three known puzzles not to have A, E, I, O, or U in it.
  • On December 9:
    • The Round 1 puzzle NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE is the first use of Proper Name for something other than the name of a famous person.
    • The Round 2 Prize is a Panasonic DVD player and a TV, which displays the road show scene from the 3000th episode when Charlie describes it.
    • Round 4 (IRONSIDE) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
  • On December 10:
    • The Round 1 puzzle MINNIE MOUSE has only three unique consonants.
    • Contestant Karen sweeps the main game (except for the Puzzler) and wins a trip to the Austrian Alps and a Saab 9-5 in the bonus round.
  • On December 11:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a home gym and a Zenith TV, which displays the road show scene from the 3000th episode when Charlie describes it.
    • Neither Thing nor Phrase is used in the main game.
  • On December 14, there is a $12,100 Jackpot win.
  • On December 15, the Round 2 Prize is a Panasonic DVD player and a TV, which displays the road show scene from the 3000th episode when Charlie describes it.
  • On December 16, the Round 1 puzzle TONY THE TIGER is followed by a Puzzler of FROSTED FLAKES, making it one of the few Puzzlers longer than the answer before it.
  • On December 17:
    • No vowels are bought in Round 1.
    • The Round 3 Prize is a trip to Seattle, the footage of which includes a clip of the Wheel painted atop the Space Needle.
    • Round 5 (REDBOOK) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
    • Pat runs up and flips the $25,000 envelope for Vanna.
  • On December 18:
    • It is the actual 3,000th episode, although this is not acknowledged.
    • Contestant Tamara solves the Puzzler JACK FROST on the buzzer. Her answer is checked during the Round 2 Prize description, after which Pat confirms that she solved in time.
    • The Round 2 Prize is $2,500 credit to DKNY.
    • Round 5 inexplicably goes to Speed-Up with only one consonant remaining.
  • December 21 is the first Christmas week to be called Christmas Week instead of Happy Holidays. During this week:
    • The $25,000 envelope has a picture of Santa Claus and reindeer flying.
    • One of the Prizes is a trip with a $2,500 gift certificate valid at any shopping mall owned by Simon Property Group. This Prize is in Round 3 except on Monday, where it is in Round 2 instead. In regards to this Prize:
      • Instrumental Christmas songs play under the copy.
      • Charlie names a Simon Property Group-owned mall close to the destination of the trip while footage of said mall is then shown: the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace (Las Vegas, Nevada) on Monday, Mall of America (Bloomington, Minnesota) on Tuesday, Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (Arlington, Virginia) on Wednesday, Circle Centre (Indianapolis, Indiana) on Thursday, and The Florida Mall (Orlando, Florida) on Friday.
      • The wedge has a small gift box in the center, suggesting that it is the Surprise wedge on the week of December 22, 1997.
    • One of the Bonus Round prizes is a "Christmas stocking". This is represented on-set by an oversized stocking with several gift boxes containing Bonus Round envelopes, none of which are revealed unless it is won.

...Merry Christmas?

  • On December 22:
    • Round 1 (DREAM TEAM) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
    • After contestant Alison picks up the Round 3 Prize, Pat opens the box on the Prize wedge to find that it is empty.
    • The Puzzler (Round 2) is Thing, while Round 3 is Things and Round 4 and the Bonus Round are Place.
    • Contestant Ted finishes with only $2,700.
  • On December 23:
    • Contestant Richard wears a button with a picture of his then-infant son Chandler.
    • Once again, Pat opens the box on the Prize wedge to find that it is empty. Perhaps due to him getting distracted by this, contestant Tracy spins the Wheel before Pat reveals the category for Round 3.
    • Tracy finishes second with $19,650.
    • Contestant Demetri wins despite losing $17,500 to a wrong answer in Round 2.
  • On December 24:
    • After contestant Carol is asked for the product associated with the Round 2 Slogan puzzle THE SOUP THAT EATS LIKE A MEAL (Campbell's Chunky Soup), she is credited with a correct response despite not saying "Campbell's".
    • Before Round 3, Pat opens the box on the Prize wedge to find a John Tesh CD. Charlie can be heard laughing during this.
    • Pat forgets to remove contestant Christian's Prize after Carol solves Round 4.
    • Pat accidentally rules contestant Yvonne incorrect when she solves the Round 5 puzzle DOG GROOMER, but realizes his mistake when she says the answer a second time.
    • Carol wins the "Christmas stocking", which consists of a John Tesh CD collection, two John Tesh Avalon World Tour jackets, a Kenwood car stereo, and a Toyota Camry LE, worth $25,900.
      1998 Christmas money.png
  • On December 25:
    • As a call-back to the previous episode, Pat opens the box on the Prize wedge to find a CD jewel case with his picture on it, and gives this to contestant Claudia before the Bonus Round.
    • Despite the Prize offering a gift certificate to the Florida Mall in Orlando, the footage actually appears to be of Altamonte Mall in Altamonte Springs, Florida; said footage also appears to be at least six years out of date, as it shows Maison Blanche, a department store which closed all Florida locations in 1992.
    • There is a $9,850 Jackpot win.
    • Rounds 2 and 3 are played entirely by the contestants who began them.
    • Round 4 (SNEAK PEEK) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
    • The second-place contestant has $17,700, all won in Round 3.
  • December 28 is Wheel into 1999 Week. During this week, a spiral galaxy is projected into the center of the Wheel. This is the last time the New Year's week is called "Wheel into [year]", and the last New Year's-themed week until Season 28.
  • On December 28, the Bonus Round is FINAL SPIN.
  • On December 29:
    • Pat forgets to mention the category for Round 2 until after the first spin.
    • Contestant Rachel solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • The Puzzler (Round 2) and Round 4 are Thing, while Round 1 and the Bonus Round are Phrase.
    • Pat and Vanna do not sign off.
  • On December 30:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $2,500 Blockbuster gift certificate.
    • There is a $12,100 Jackpot win.
  • On December 31:
    • Round 1 (USA TODAY) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
    • There is a $9,300 Jackpot win.

January 1999

  • On January 1:
    • Rounds 1 and 2 are played entirely by the contestants who began them.
    • Round 3 (HUMPTY DUMPTY) is a rare instance of a puzzle with only one vowel.
    • There is an $8,850 Jackpot win, the last time that it is won on three consecutive episodes.
  • All five Bonus Rounds are lost on the week of December 28, part of a nine-day losing streak; four of the five from this week have the contestants getting no help from their extra letters.
  • January 4 is Fabulous Florida Week. All five shows have two females and one male, a practice that would start occurring frequently in Season 18.
  • On January 4, contestant Ginny spins the Wheel before the puzzle for Round 3 is revealed.
  • On January 5:
    • For the first of only five times this season, a "bonus" category (Slogan) appears in Round 1.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 4.
    • The bonus puzzle RED FOX uses only one line.
    • In reference to the Round 2 puzzle TREASURY LAUNCHES NEW TWENTY-DOLLAR BILL (Headline), Pat and Vanna compare the new and old $20 bills during the post-game chat.
  • On January 6:
    • Contestant Nancy does an impression of the Road Runner and contestant Mike does an impression of Forrest Gump, followed by one of "Forrest Gump as the Road Runner". This was seen in several retrospectives.
    • Rounds 2 and 4 are played entirely by the contestants who began them.
    • Pat accidentally tries to take Nancy's prize away after she hits Lose a Turn.
    • The chimes do not sound when Round 4's puzzle is revealed.
  • On January 7:
    • The Round 1 puzzle ARCHITECT is followed by a Puzzler of BLUEPRINTS. The former is both a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters and an instance of the Puzzler being longer than the puzzle before it.
    • All of the puzzles are very short, with Round 2-4 (a Fill In the Blank of ? HEAT ? STOCKING ? OF WATER {Body}, HUNGRY JACK NICHOLSON {Before & After} and WHAT ARE YOU DRIVING AT respectively) all tied for the longest at only 19 letters.
  • Between January 5-7, Vanna wears suits.
  • On January 8:
    • Rounds 1 and 4 (CHIP 'N DALE and GREEN BEAN) are both shorter than ten letters.
    • There is a rare instance of a contestant losing their turn with only vowels remaining: with only the A and E missing from the above Round 1 puzzle, contestant Keyawna gives a wrong answer.
    • Against normal practice, the buzzer sounds on a wrong answer in Round 1.
    • The Puzzler JUMP-START (after Round 2) is improperly hyphenated.
    • No vowels are bought in Rounds 3 or 4.
  • January 11 is African Safari Week.
  • On January 11:
    • There are two contestants named Rey/Ray (albeit spelled differently).
    • The Round 2 Prize is a TravelSmith kit worth $2,500.
    • Both Rounds 2 and 4 are completely filled in before being solved.
    • Round 4 (DEEP SLEEP) is both a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters and of one with only one vowel.
  • On January 12, the Round 1 puzzle HOTEL MAID is followed by a Puzzler of FEATHER DUSTER. The former is both a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters and an instance of the Puzzler being longer than the puzzle before it.
  • On January 13, contestant Nancy sweeps the main game (except for the Puzzler) and wins a trip to Africa in the Bonus Round.
  • On January 14:
    • Vanna wears a suit.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 1.
    • The Round 4 puzzle is already on the puzzle board when it is revealed.
    • Contestant Suzette plays the original version of "Changing Keys" with her nose during the post-game chat. This clip has been shown in the 4000th episode.
  • On January 15:
    • Round 2 is Thing, while The Puzzler (also Round 2) is Things. This is the first of only five instances of the Puzzler being the same category as the answer before it.
    • The Puzzler CREAM & SUGAR is one of only five known instances of an ampersand in a Puzzler.
  • During the week of January 18 (West Coast Adventures), four of the five bonus prizes (minus the $25,000) are a Chrysler car or boat combined with a trip.
  • On January 18:
    • Contestant John forgets to pick up the Free Spin in Round 1. He hits Lose a Turn on the next spin after which Pat hands him the token to him but gives it right back.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 2.
    • Round 3 (BLACK BACKPACK) is both a rare instance of a puzzle with only one vowel and of one with none of the five most common consonants.
    • The first spin in Round 3 ($3,500) is not added to the Jackpot until after the letter from the second spin is revealed.
    • With only the P missing from the aforementioned puzzle, both the red and yellow contestants give wrong answers back-to-back.
    • The scoreboards are still lit up during the first spin of Round 4.
    • Rounds 1 and 4 are played entirely by the red contestant who began them, although Free Spin is used in Round 1.
    • Round 5 (NO U-TURN) is both a rare instance of both a puzzle shorter than ten letters and of one with only three unique consonants.
    • $250 is not deducted when contestant John buys an O in Round 5, although this does not affect the outcome as he does not solve the puzzle.
    • Rounds 3 and 5 have instances of five consecutive lost turns, each including a "null" cycle. The former cycle is left intact, while the latter is edited out (as indicated by the wide shot of Patrick's spin slowing down on the red $600 only for the close-up to show him landing on the purple one). In addition to these, another cycle may have been edited out of Round 3, as R, S, and T are never called on-air; this may also explain the above-mentioned delay in tallying the Jackpot.
  • On January 19:
    • Vanna wears a suit.
    • The Round 1 puzzle MR. CLEAN is followed by a Puzzler of HOOP EARRING. The former is both a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters and an instance of the Puzzler being longer than the puzzle before it.
    • The Round 2 Prize is $2,500 toward Herbasis aromatherapy products from Target.
    • Pat forgets to show the Bonus Round prize that contestant Donna did not win. He reveals it during the post-game chat.
  • On January 20:
    • The Round 3 Prize is a Triumph Thunderbird motorcycle.
    • Neither Thing nor Phrase is used in the main game.
    • Vanna's daughter Giovanna makes an appearance during the post-game chat.
  • On January 21:
    • The contestants' arrows flash during the interviews.
    • For the second of only five times this season, a "bonus" category (Slogan) appears in Round 1.
    • Free Spin is accidentally removed at the start of Round 2. This ends up affecting the outcome, as contestant Matt lands on the green $300 in Round 2, loses his turn with $600 in his bank, and then loses by $301.
    • The Round 3 Prize is a year of house cleaning from Libman.
  • On January 22:
    • Round 1 (DICK TRACY) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $2,500 gift certificate from Bed Bath & Beyond.
    • The Round 3 Prize is an Amtrak rail trip from Los Angeles to Seattle, a shot of the Space Needle with the Wheel painted on its top are shown when Charlie describes it.
    • Round 4 (FENDER BENDER) is a rare instance of a puzzle with only one vowel.
    • Neither Thing nor Phrase is used.
  • January 25 is NFL Players Week, and the last use of the Friday Finals format. During this week:
    • The NFL players wear football-shaped name tags in a font resembling the letters on a jersey, while the contestants wear normal name tags. This continues to be the case until the last NFL Players week in January 2006.
    • During the interviews, each player is indicated by a graphic of a football helmet with their team's logo on it; their name then appears in burgundy text on a white strip, followed by the team name in white on a burgundy strip.
    • In some rounds, after a puzzle is solved, the shot zooms out with a "breaking glass" effect to show a CGI graphic of a football player scoring a touchdown.
    • Bleachers are set up onstage to increase the audience size.
    • The floor is designed to resemble a football field.
    • The Friday Finals Bonus Round winner's extra prize is a trip to Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami; it is won regardless of whether or not the contestant solves the bonus puzzle.
  • On January 25:
    • Rounds 1 and 2 are played entirely by the teams who began them.
    • The Round 2 Prize is an electronics package including a television. Said television shows footage of the NFL week of January 1997; this is the first time since the trilon puzzle board's retirement that it has been shown.
    • Contestant Julie and Jake Plummer spin only once in the entire game, calling a wrong letter on $250 in Round 3.
    • The first five spins in Round 3 are not added to the Jackpot.
  • On January 26:
    • The buzzer does not sound when contestant Sylvia and Keenan McCardell call a wrong letter in Round 2.
    • The second Bankrupt comes loose in Round 3, partially exposing the orange-yellow $300.
  • On January 27:
    • There is a cold open with Jerome Bettis and the Pittsburgh Steelers introducing the theme and doing the opening chant. As a result, Charlie does not do the opening spiel except for introducing Pat and Vanna.
    • The puzzle board reads NFL PLAYERS WEEK, center-aligned on the top two rows, as Charlie introduces Pat and Vanna.
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $2,500 Foot Locker gift certificate.
    • Round 4 (NO PAIN NO GAIN) is a rare instance of a puzzle with only three unique consonants.
    • Neither Thing nor Phrase is used.
  • On January 28:
    • Contestant Lisa and Curtis Conway solve the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • All of the puzzles are very short, with Round 3 (FIESTA & CEREAL BOWL) being the longest at only 16 letters.
  • From January 26-28, all three teams are male-female combos.
  • On January 29:
    • There is a cold open with Bill Romanowski and the Denver Broncos introducing the theme and doing the opening chant. As a result, Charlie does not do the opening spiel except for introducing Pat and Vanna.
    • Contestant Elizabeth and Wesley Walls solve the Puzzler before the timer can start.
  • All five Bonus Rounds are lost on the week of January 25, part of a six-day losing streak.

February 1999

  • February 1 is World Class Parties Week. During this week, the set is decorated with balloons.
  • On February 1, Round 1 (THE SMURFS) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters. It is followed by a factually incorrect Puzzler of BLUE ELVES (the Smurfs are not elves).
  • On February 2:
    • The Round 4 puzzle METER READER is incorrectly categorized as Rhyme Time.
    • Contestant Anthony finishes with only $4,150.
  • On February 3:
    • Contestant Nicholaus solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • The Round 2 Prize is a Zenith TV, which displays the various road shows from the past when Charlie describes it.
    • Rounds 4 and 5 (BRAD PITT and PENINSULA) are both shorter than ten letters.
    • Six rounds are played.
  • On February 4:
    • A balloon can be heard bursting during contestant Julie's interview.
    • The Round 2 Prize is $2,500 credit to the Rand McNally store.
    • Pat forgets to mention the Puzzler Round after contestant David solves the Round 2 puzzle.
    • The bonus puzzle BIT BY BIT uses only one line.
  • On February 5:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $2,500 MAC Cosmetics gift certificate.
    • Contestant Bryan's Free Spin falls under the wheel when he loses his turn, causing Pat to climb over the railing and retrieve it.
    • Vanna accidentally walks up to the puzzle when a wrong letter is called in Round 3.
    • The totals on the scoreboards do not disappear until the Speed-Up Round starts.
  • On February 8:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a Panasonic DVD player and a TV, which displays the road show scene of the 3000th episode when Charlie describes it.
    • The Round 2 Before & After puzzle is KEEP BOTH HANDS ON THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE.
    • The Round 3 Prize is a Greek Cruise worth $10,390.
  • On February 9:
    • No vowels are bought in Rounds 1 or 3.
    • Contestant Adrienne solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • Round 5 (MARINA) is both a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters and of one with only three unique consonants.
    • Round 5 goes to Speed-Up with only one consonant remaining.
    • After the same round goes to Speed-Up, the shot of the board is zoomed in tightly (as was done before Season 5), instead of the whole board being seen.
    • The bonus puzzle COMB & BRUSH is a rare instance of an ampersand in the Bonus Round.
    • Neither Thing nor Phrase is used in the main game.
  • On February 10:
    • The Puzzler (Round 1) is BOB GOEN; after it is not solved, Pat mentions that Goen briefly hosted the daytime version.
    • The Round 2 Prize is a Panasonic camera and a HP computer, which displays the shows opening logo as its screen saver.
    • Contestant Jonathan solves the Round 2 Fill In the Number puzzle AROUND THE WORLD IN ## DAYS by saying the correct number (80) while solving, and is credited with a correct response.
    • Rounds 4 and 5 (FAIR HAIR and DIET SODA) are both shorter than ten letters and have only three unique consonants.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 4.
  • On February 11:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $2,500 Façonnable gift certificate.
    • There is a $10,400 Jackpot win.
  • On February 12:
    • Contestant Andy initially leaves off the S when attempting to solve the Round 1 Puzzler LOLLIPOPS, but gives the right answer on the buzzer. Pat rules against him but accidentally claims that he still has $4,900 (which is also shown on his scoreboard) before the $3,000 value of the Puzzler is taken back. Before Round 3, Pat points out that, since more than one guess may be made on the Puzzler, and since he did give the correct answer on the buzzer, he will get the $3,000 after all. It is likely that the confusion stemmed from no prior contestant having attempted to make more than one guess on a Puzzler.
    • The Round 2 prize is a framed photograph of The Doors signed by all four members of the band.
    • Pat forgets to remove contestant Pam's prize after she hits Bankrupt in Round 2.
    • In Round 2, the "only vowels remain" beeps fail to sound until after contestant Nicole starts to solve.
  • Throughout the week of February 8, during the Pat & Vanna talk, Vanna brings in her tomato sauce and mentions different things about it each day. Pat finally gets a taste of it on the 12th after which he falls out of his chair and passes out.
  • The weeks of February 15 and 22 are taped outdoors, in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel in Honolulu. During these weeks:
    • The lap steel guitar version of "Changing Keys" is used, albeit with the intro of the then-current version edited in.
    • There is a cold open. Unlike most such instances, the same ones are used for both weeks.
      • Monday: Vanna says, "I'm at the Polynesian Culture Center, and this is Wheel of Fortune!" while dancers perform behind her.
      • Tuesday: Pat says "From Waikiki, it's Wheel of Fortune! They told me they'd send a limo for me." while wearing only swim trunks and rowing a rowboat.
      • Wednesday: Vanna stands in front of palm trees at sunset and says, "It's Wheel of Fortune from Hawaii!"
      • Thursday: Vanna stands in front of some sailboats in the ocean and says, "From Hawaii, it's Wheel of Fortune!"
      • Friday: Pat says "From Waikiki, it's Wheel of Fortune! You know, I've gotta check the fine print in my contract sometime, huh?" while parasailing.
    • The surfboard backdrops from the 1996 Hawaii episodes are also reused.
    • Pat wears suits and an unbuttoned jacket without a tie.
    • A relief map of Hawaii is on the floor at center stage.
    • Pat and/or Vanna promote the theme via bumpers after Round 2.
    • The Bonus Round window is shaped like a lei.
  • During the week of February 15, PGA golfers are in the audience. Charlie introduces them before the start of Round 1 and later reappear with Pat and Vanna in the closing chat with each golfer receiving $5,000 for their charities. The golfers are: John Cook, Jim Furyk and Jesper Parnevik on Monday; Scott Simpson, Brandel Chamblee, and Chip Beck on Tuesday; Len Mattiace, Bob Friend and Dan Forsman on Wednesday; Fred Funk, Robert Gamez and Jerry Kelly on Thursday; and Billy Andrade, Jeff Sluman, and Stewart Cink on Friday.
  • On February 15:
    • Contestant Karen asks to buy an A in Round 1, but it is misheard as E due to her accent. In Round 2, she buys an E followed by an A, and both are heard correctly.
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $2,500 shopping spree at the shops inside the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
    • The Round 3 is an Italjet Formula 50 LC scooter.
  • On February 16, contestant Kimberly picks up Pat after winning Round 2 and leaves him there until after the commercial break.
  • On February 17, the Round 3 Prize is a Harley-Davidson worth $10,300.
  • On February 18, contestant Rob finishes with only $4,900.
  • On February 19, the Round 3 Prize is a Global Motor car and golf clubs worth $10,374.
  • February 22 is Best Friends Week.
  • On February 22:
    • There are two contestants named Corey/Cori (albeit spelled differently, one male and one female and on different teams).
    • Contestant Cori's name tag falls off in Round 1. It is retrieved before the start of Round 2.
    • The Round 2 Prize is a pair of KHS Tandemania tandem bicycles and a Hilo Hattie gift certificate worth $3,100.
    • The Round 3 Prize is shopping spree at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center plus tickets to see Magic of Polynesia worth $5,000.
    • The Jackpot graphics use a skinnier font, suggesting that it may have been adjusted in post due to a "null" cycle.
    • Contestants Cori and Jim solve the bonus puzzle I'M IN SHOCK by saying the first two words, pausing, and then saying the last word on the buzzer. Unusually, Pat asks for the answer to be revealed before going to commercial. In the final segment, Pat reveals that they have won.
    • Cori and Jim sweep the game and win a boat in the Bonus Round.
  • On February 23, during the post-game chat, Vanna shows off an anthurium plant that she received from Tropical Connection (a plant nursery in California) to honor the show's previous trip to Hawaii in February 22, 1996. After this, Pat is given a plant of his own.
  • On February 24:
    • There is a $12,450 Jackpot win.
    • Pat forgets to remove the Round 2 Prize from the blue team's arrow after the yellow team solves the Speed-Up.
    • During the closing chat, Pat and Vanna show footage of the Wheel and puzzle board being loaded and transported from Stage 11 to Hawaii, along with a time-lapse of the outdoor stage being set up.
  • On February 25:
    • Contestants Kent and Ben solve both the Puzzler NEIGHBORS and bonus puzzle RHUBARB PIE before either round's timer can start.
    • Contestants B.J. and Marty promote the Jackpot Round in unison instead of Pat. This is a call-back to Round 1, where Pat noticed that both of them tended to call their letters in unison.
    • During Round 3, Pat walks over to remove B.J. and Marty's Prize after they hit Bankrupt, and Kent and Ben both spin as he does so.
    • The Round 3 Prize is a pair of Hobie Wave catamarans.
  • On February 26:
    • Contestants Jane and Beverlyn solve Round 1 for $300, they are still erroneously given the house minimum even though they solved the Puzzler in the round.
    • Jane and Beverlyn solve the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • The Round 2 Prize is $5,000 credit to Cabela's.
    • Round 3 (BODYSURFERS) is a very rare instance of a one-word puzzle in any round other than the first or last one.
    • Jane and Beverlyn sweep the game and win a Mazda Miata in the Bonus Round.

March 1999

  • On March 1:
    • There are two contestants named Ricky/Ricci (albeit spelled differently with one male and one female).
    • Contestant Angela solves the Round 4 puzzle TEENY-WEENY (itself a rare instance of a puzzle with only one vowel) and then tells Pat "No offense." This was seen in several retrospectives.
  • On March 2:
    • Round 1 (FLORIST) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
    • The Puzzler (Round 1), and Round 4 are Thing while the Bonus Round is Things.
  • On March 3:
    • Round 3 (MUMBO JUMBO) is a very rare instance of both a puzzle with only three unique consonants and one with none of the five main ones. In addition, no letters are revealed until the sixth turn and ten turns are lost in total.
    • There is an $8,900 Jackpot win. Strangely, the "fireworks" effect does not appear and in a rather rare occurrence, it comes with only vowels remaining.
  • On March 4:
    • The Puzzler for Round 1 (HENNY PENNY) is categorized as Fictional Character instead of Rhyme Time.
    • The "only vowels remain" beeps accidentally sound in Round 4 even though there is still a consonant (D) unrevealed in the puzzle ELABORATE DETAILS. The beeps sound again after contestant Kris calls D and spins, at which point Pat stops the Wheel and informs her that only vowels remain; she then buys A and solves the puzzle.
  • On March 5:
    • Round 1 (RELAY RACE) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $2,500 IKEA shopping spree.
    • A "null" cycle appears to have been edited out of Round 3 improperly, as after the red contestant (Matt) reveals the N's, control suddenly passes to the blue contestant (Sean) and the Jackpot suddenly increases from $6,150 to $8,300.
    • Counting the above, fourteen turns are lost in Round 3.
  • March 8 is Puerto Rico Week. During this week:
    • The border around the video wall behind the contestants matches the golden frames on the puzzle board.
    • The Bonus Round window is rectangular and much wider than usual, allowing Pat to be seen within it.
  • On March 8:
    • For the first time, the Jackpot sponsor (Chock Full o' Nuts coffee) is pre-recorded instead of being read by Charlie.
    • After SHE SELLS SEA SHELLS BY THE SEASHORE is a puzzle, Pat and Vanna talk during the week (except the 12th) have to do with tongue twisters.
  • On March 9:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $2,500 Body Shop gift certificate.
    • Contestant Dolores solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • Eleven turns are lost in Round 3.
  • On March 10:
    • The Puzzler for Round 1 (SPRING FEVER) is inexplicably categorized as Phrase instead of Thing.
    • Vanna accidentally walks up to the puzzle when a repeat letter is called in Round 2.
  • On March 11:
    • Rounds 1 and 5 (MOTORISTS and GYM SHOES) are both shorter than ten letters.
    • Pat mistakenly announces the Round 2 category (Before & After) as People.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 4.
  • On March 12:
    • Round 1 (SCULPTOR) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
    • Round 2 is a very rare instance of a "bonus" category being multiple-choice: after the Where Are We? puzzle THIS CITY IS THE CAPITAL OF CANADA, Pat offers contestant Robert a choice of Ottawa, Montreal, or Toronto. He does not provide the correct answer of Ottawa.
    • Contestant Mark solves the bonus puzzle IN A FOG just after the buzzer. His answer is checked during the commercial break, and in the final segment, Pat tells them he has lost. Despite this, his wife comes onstage and joins Pat and Vanna for the credits.
    • After the Bonus Round is lost, the puzzle is revealed like one that is solved: the entire answer fills in at once and the board lights flash.
  • Between March 10-12, the Bonus Round window is larger than usual, allowing Pat to be seen within it.
  • March 15 is Canada Week. During this week, the Bonus Round window is shaped like a maple leaf.
  • On March 15:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $2,500 gift certificate from Bed Bath & Beyond.
    • There is a rare instance of a contestant losing their turn with only vowels remaining in the Speed-Up.
    • Round 5 (CAB FARE) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
  • On March 16:
    • The Round 1 puzzle BARTENDER is followed by a Puzzler of ON THE ROCKS. The former is both a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters and an instance of the Puzzler being longer than the puzzle before it.
    • Pat forgets to remove contestant Sushma's prize after she hits Bankrupt in Round 2.
  • On March 17:
    • Rounds 1 and 5 (HORSE RACE and PEEPHOLE) are both shorter than ten letters. The latter also has only three unique consonants.
    • A "null" cycle is edited out of Round 5, as evidenced by Pat acknowledging that the Round 3 Prize was hit before but not picked up.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 5.
    • The bonus puzzle TAX & TIP is a rare instance of an ampersand in the Bonus Round.
  • On March 18:
    • There is a rare instance of a contestant losing their turn with only vowels remaining in the Speed-Up.
    • Contestant Freddie only spins twice the entire game, calling a wrong letter on Free Spin in Round 1 and hitting Lose a Turn in Round 3. He still wins the main game by claiming $15,000 in the Speed-Up Round.
  • On March 19, during the post game chat, Vanna talks about when she was a contestant on The Price Is Right.
  • March 22 is Mexico Week.
  • On March 22:
    • The Puzzler (Round 1), Round 4, and the Bonus Round are Thing.
    • Round 5 (NEWCOMERS) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
  • On March 23:
    • For the third of only five times this season, a "bonus" category (Slogan) appears in Round 1.
    • The Round 3 Prize is a framed photograph of Babe Ruth with his signature.
    • Six rounds are played.
    • The second Bankrupt is removed as Round 6 goes right into a Speed-Up Round.
  • On March 24:
    • Contestant Mathew solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • The Round 2 Prize is a Zenith TV, which displays the various road shows from the past when Charlie describes it.
    • The Round 2 puzzle MARILU HENNER AS TAXI'S ELAINE NARDO (Classic TV) is followed by a trivia question asking who was Elaine's boss on that show. Mathew provides the right answer of Louie De Palma.
    • Mathew sweeps the game but loses a trip to Cozumel and a Ford Explorer in the Bonus Round.
  • On March 25:
    • The Round 2 Prize is $2,500 credit to the Rand McNally store.
    • For the first time, a "decade" category (The 60's) is used in the Puzzler Round.
    • The video wall at center stage zooms in on one of contestant Julie's spin in Round 2, a practice largely dropped partway through Season 14.
    • Julie spins the Wheel before Pat reveals the category for Round 3. Pat lets the spin count and the game proceeds as normal.
    • Contestant Chris finishes with only $4,250.
  • On March 26, contestant Lucy finishes with only $4,600.
  • All five Bonus Rounds are lost on the week of March 22.
  • The week of March 29 is called April in Paris, even though three of the five episodes air in March.
  • On March 29:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a Panasonic DVD player and a TV, which displays the road show scene from the 3000th episode when Charlie describes it.
    • The Jackpot wedge and the second Bankrupt switch positions in Round 3. The latter stays on $500 in Round 4, as a result, $500 is also absent during that round.
    • Pat cleans the wheel with a handheld vacuum before the start of Round 4.
    • Round 4 (HAIR CARE) is both a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters and of one with only three unique consonants.
    • Neither Thing nor Phrase is used in the main game.
  • On March 30, the Round 2 Prize is $2,500 credit to Greenleaf & Crosby.
  • On March 31:
    • Contestant Mike calls an M in Round 2, but it is misheard as an N causing Vanna to walk just a few inches and look confused. This also accidentally causes to reveal how many N's are in the puzzle.
    • Contestant JJ finishes with only $4,650.

April 1999

  • On April 1:
    • Charlie's opening narration is noticeably later than usual.
    • A "null" cycle is edited out of Round 1, as evidenced by Pat saying "Okay Donald, try it again!"
    • The Round 1 puzzle PHOTO LAB is followed by a Puzzler of NEGATIVES. The former is both a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters and an instance of the Puzzler being longer than the puzzle before it.
    • Appropriately, the Round 4 puzzle is THE JOKE'S ON ME.
    • Pat forgets to remove the Round 3 Prize from the contestant Kurt's arrow after contestant Donald solves the Speed-Up.
  • On April 2:
    • The Round 2 Prize is an Italjet Velocifero scooter.
    • The Round 3 Prize is a Greek Cruise worth $10,390.
  • During the week of April 5 (Spring Break Week), four of the five bonus prizes (minus the $25,000) are a car combined with a trip.
  • On April 5:
    • Round 4 (CASHIER) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
    • Contestant Steve wins with $5,000, earned entirely from a single letter called in a Speed-Up.
  • On April 6:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $2,500 MAC Cosmetics gift certificate.
    • Round 2's Where Are We? puzzle uses three clues.
    • The Jackpot graphics use a skinnier font, suggesting that it may have been adjusted in post due to a "null" cycle.
  • On April 7:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $2,500 Foot Locker gift certificate.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 4.
  • On April 8:
    • The Puzzler (Round 2) and Round 3 are Place.
    • Round 4 (BELLYBUTTON) is misspelled, as it should be two words.
    • Pat forgets to remove the Round 2 Prize from the contestant Adam's arrow after contestant Tami solves the Speed-Up.
    • Adam finishes with only $1,600. This is the lowest known winning total since both the retirements of the shopping era (not counting celebrity episodes) and the Friday Finals format.
    • During the post-game chat, Pat and Vanna try Toaster Breaks which is the Jackpot sponsor for the week.
  • On April 9:
    • Vanna wears a sleeveless top and pants.
    • The Round 1 puzzle WINERY is followed by a Puzzler of CORKSCREW. The former is both a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters and an instance of the Puzzler being longer than the puzzle before it.
    • Round 4 goes to Speed-Up with only one consonant remaining.
  • April 12 is Wheel Across America. During this week, the Bonus Round window is shaped like the Interstate highway shield.
  • On April 12, Round 5 (BEDSPREAD) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
  • On April 13:
    • Round 1 is the first appearance of The 90's since Season 12; as the "decade" categories were changed to numbers in Season 13, this is also the first time that said category uses numbers.
    • Round 1 (BEANIE BABIES) is a rare instance of a puzzle with only three unique consonants.
    • The Round 2 puzzle YOU CAN'T FOOL ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME (Quotation) is followed by a trivia question asking which U.S. president is famous for this quote. Contestant Kelli does not provide the right answer of Abraham Lincoln. It is also not known why the puzzle was not categorized as Who Said It?
    • Contestant Brad spins the Wheel before the puzzle for Round 3 is revealed.
    • Contestant Juliah forgets to pick the Round 3 prize in that round. She solves the puzzle in the round so Pat pretends she has it on her arrow.
  • On April 14:
    • Rounds 1 and 4 are both shorter than ten letters (MR. PEANUT and SAME NAME respectively). The latter also has only three unique consonants.
    • The Puzzler DRY ROASTED is a rare instance of the Puzzler being longer than the puzzle before it. It is also improperly punctuated, as it should be hyphenated.
    • The Round 3 Prize is a GEM golf cart.
    • On the Map debuts in Round 3.
  • On April 15:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $2,500 DKNY Shopping Spree.
    • Pat's Final Spin lands on Bankrupt; this is the last time that a Final Spin landing on anything other than a dollar amount is not edited out.
  • On April 16:
    • Pat references a "null" cycle in Round 1 by assuming that contestant Ruth still wants to hold on to her Free Spin despite not asking her once before.
    • The Round 1 puzzle POOLSIDE is followed by a Puzzler of SUNBATHERS. The former is both a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters and an instance of the Puzzler being longer than the puzzle before it.
  • The week of April 19 is Around the World week, During this week, one of the Bonus Round prizes is a trip to Antarctica.
  • On April 19:
    • Round 3 (BIG WIGS) is both a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters and of one with only one vowel. It is also misspelled, as it should be one word.
    • At least one "null" cycle is likely edited out of the above round, as none of T, R, or N are called and the Jackpot readout is in a slightly different font than usual.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 5.
    • Six rounds are played.
  • On April 20:
    • Round 5 (FLOOR LAMP) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
    • During the post-game chat, a clip of Vanna with penguins from the San Diego tapings in 1997 is shown.
  • On April 21:
    • Vanna wears a scarf.
    • The Round 3 puzzle VISIT OUR WEB SITE is misspelled, as "website" should be one word.
    • Contestant Brandy solves the Round 4 Before & After puzzle OPEN SESAME SEEDS with only the S's and E's showing.
    • Round 5 (HALLWAY) is both a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters and of one with only one vowel.
    • Six rounds are played.
  • On April 22:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a Zenith TV, which displays the various road shows from the past when Charlie describes it.
    • Contestant Charles accidentally tries to spin the wheel in Round 3 when it's not his turn.
    • Charles accidentally tries to pull off the W on the W-H-E-E-L holder in the Bonus Round.
  • On April 23:
    • For the fourth of only five times this season, a "bonus" category (Slogan) appears in Round 1.
    • The Round 2 Puzzler (HUFF AND PUFF) is categorized as Phrase instead of Rhyme Time.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 4.
    • Contestant Rich solves the bonus puzzle GERANIUMS before the timer can start.
    • Rich sweeps the main game (except for the Puzzler) and wins the trip to Antarctica in the Bonus Round.
  • April 26 is Beverly Hills Week. During this week:
    • A graphic of the Beverly Hills sign forms the contestant window in the Bonus Round.
    • On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, there is a cold open where Vanna promotes the theme from Beverly Hills.
  • On April 26:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $5,000 Façonnable gift certificate.
    • Unusually, both Prize wedges have the same graphic (albeit with different text).
    • This is a $13,300 Jackpot win.
    • Round 4 (TOP COP) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters, one with only three unique consonants, and one with only one vowel.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 4.
  • On April 27:
    • The second Bankrupt is accidentally placed on the Wheel for Round 1, but is not hit.
    • Round 1 (ART LOVER) is rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
    • Contestant Chrissy solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $5,000 Jessica McClintock, Inc. gift certificate.
    • Before Round 3, there is a bumper with Vanna and Thomas S. Levyn, then-mayor of Beverly Hills.
  • On April 28:
    • Round 1 (BRANCH BANK) is rare instance of a puzzle with only one vowel.
    • The Round 2 puzzle GWYNETH PALTROW WINS BEST ACTRESS OSCAR (Show Biz) is followed by a trivia question asking who won the Oscar for best actor at that time. Contestant Diane does not provide the right answer of Roberto Benigni. In addition, the High Rollers chimes do not sound.
    • The Jackpot graphics use the Impact font, suggesting that it may have been adjusted in post due to a "null" cycle.
    • Diane solves the bonus puzzle SHERIFF despite not getting any help from her letters.
  • On April 29:
    • Contestant Dennis solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • The second Bankrupt comes partially loose in Round 3, exposing the orange-yellow $300.
    • There is an $8,800 Jackpot win. In a rather rare occurrence, it comes with only vowels remaining.
    • On The Map appears in the Bonus Round for the first time.
  • On April 30:
    • The Round 1 puzzle TRAPEZE ARTIST is inexplicably categorized as Show Biz instead of Occupation.
    • The High Rollers chimes do not sound in Round 2 when Pat asks for the common thread for that round's Fill In the Blank puzzle.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 4.
    • Contestant Heather's letters fill in the bonus puzzle PUSH-UPS entirely.
    • During the post-game chat, Pat and Vanna acknowledge that all prizes except the $25,000 have been won in the Bonus Round.

May 1999

  • May 3-24 is the Come Play in LA Sweepstakes. Home viewers may submit each day's bonus puzzle. The grand prize is a trip for two to Los Angeles, which includes a tour of the Wheel set and a chance to audition.
  • The weeks of May 3 and 10 are taped at the Apollo of Temple (now Liacouras Center) in Philadelphia. During these weeks:
    • The set includes large replica of the Betsy Ross flag with the video wall inside the circle of stars, with "Philadelphia" written atop the Liberty Bell beside the video wall.
    • A graphic of the Liberty Bell with "Philadelphia" written on it appears on top of the puzzle board as the category is revealed.
    • During Puzzler rounds, the "wrong letter" buzzer is used instead of the "time's up" buzzer from the Bonus Round.
  • During the week of May 3, a graphic of the Liberty Bell ringing forms the contestant window in the Bonus Round.
  • On May 3:
    • Contestant Donna solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • An extra $450 is added to the Jackpot, likely indicating that it was not adjusted after a "null" cycle.
    • The Round 4 puzzle WINE AND DINE has only three unique consonants.
    • Donna wins a $31,700 "Sports Fantasy" package consisting of 12 tickets to a Flyers/76ers game, a backstage dinner, cigars from Holt's Cigar, a luxury suite at the First Union Center, autographed merchandise from both teams, and a locker room tour.
  • On May 4:
    • The opening segment features clips of Philadelphia's sports teams followed by the opening chant done by a crowd at Veterans Stadium, led by Vanna in a baseball uniform.
    • Round 1 (TAILOR) is a rare instance of both a puzzle shorter than ten letters and one with only three unique consonants. It is followed by a Puzzler of LET IT OUT. This is also a rare instance of a Puzzler longer than the answer before it.
    • Contestant Scott solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • The Round 2 puzzle JOHN TRAVOLTA AS VINNIE BARBARINO (Classic TV) is followed by a trivia question asking for the nickname of the group Travolta was a part of in Welcome Back, Kotter. Scott provides the correct answer of Sweathogs.
  • On May 5:
    • The opening segment features Vanna riding a carriage in front of Independence Hall. She then looks at the camera and says, "That's Independence Hall, and this is Wheel of Fortune from Philadelphia."
    • Round 1 is HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, even though Mother's Day did not occur until the 9th.
    • Contestant Jean solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • Jean's name tag falls off during her first spin in Round 2, but contestant Patti catches it and puts it back on for her.
    • There is a $6,850 Jackpot win.
    • There are two sets of repeated categories: Phrase in Round 1 and the Bonus Round, Things in the Puzzler (Round 1) and Round 3.
    • Contestant Scott solves the bonus puzzle GRAB A BITE before the timer can start.
    • Scott kisses Pat's shoes after winning the Bonus Round. This is seen in several retrospectives.
  • On May 6:
    • Rounds 1 and 5 are both shorter than ten letters (DAISY DUCK and PEA PODS respectively). The latter also has only three unique consonants.
    • The camera is positioned too high during the reveal of the Round 1 puzzle; it is fixed after the first spin.
    • Pat references a "null" cycle in Round 1 by saying "There is no M, either!" despite no prior wrong letters being aired.
    • Contestant John solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • During the post-game chat, a clip is shown of Vanna at Veterans Stadium throwing the ball on the field.
  • On May 7:
    • No vowels are bought in Round 3.
    • There is a $6,300 Jackpot win.
    • The audience boos the bonus puzzle THAT'S IFFY after contestant Jon fails to solve it.
    • Pat and Vanna each eat a Philly cheesesteak at the end of the show, in reference to the Round 1 puzzle EATING A PHILLY CHEESESTEAK.
  • During the week of May 10 (College Week):
    • The audience does the "Wheel! Of! Fortune!" chant.
    • Unlike other College Weeks on the road, the contestants introduce themselves from their podiums, instead of walking from center stage.
    • Temple University's band plays music bumpers.
    • A graphic of a yearbook opening forms the contestant window in the Bonus Round.
    • The Bonus Round prizes comprise four cars and $25,000 cash.
  • On May 10:
    • The Round 2 Prize includes an opportunity to throw out the opening pitch at a Phillies/Cubs game on September 29, along with season tickets to Phillies games and autographed merchandise. It is promoted via footage of Vanna at a Phillies game.
    • The shot of the contestants is zoomed in closer than usual during the Speed-Up, causing the scoreboards not to be seen.
    • Pat forgets to remove the Round 3 Prize from contestant Kathy's arrow after contestant Ryan solves the Speed-Up.
  • On May 11:
    • The shot of the Round 1 puzzle being revealed is accidentally re-used for the puzzle reveal in Round 2.
    • The Round 2 prize is a $2,500 shopping spree at King of Prussia, a shopping mall in Pennsylvania.
    • Boyz II Men makes a cameo after the Round 2 puzzle AWARD-WINNING RECORDING ARTISTS.
    • After winning the Bonus Round, Christopher picks Pat up and pretends to wrestle him. This has been seen in several retrospectives including the ceremonial 4,000th episode in November 2003.
    • Contestant Christopher sweeps the game (except for the Puzzler) and wins $25,000 in the Bonus Round.
  • On May 12:
    • The buzzer sounds on a repeated A in Round 3, even though there is an A in the puzzle. Normally, the buzzer only sounds on repeats if they were not in the puzzle to begin with.
    • Pat gives winning contestant Jonathan a cardboard stand-up of himself after the Speed-Up. A clip of this appears during the ceremonial 4,000th episode in November 2003.
  • On May 13:
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $2,500 Foot Locker shopping spree.
    • Ten turns are lost in Round 3, of which eight are wrong letters.
    • There is a $9,650 Jackpot win that comes with only vowels remaining.
    • Vanna forgets to touch the first S in the Round 4 puzzle DAWSON'S CREEK.
    • Neither Thing nor Phrase is used in the main game.
  • On May 14, the Jackpot graphics suddenly changes to a skinnier font midway through the round, suggesting that it may have been adjusted in post due to a "null" cycle.
  • May 17 is Wheel Goes to the Movies week. During this week, a movie clapboard forms the contestant window in the Bonus Round.
  • On May 17:
    • The show opens with Kermit and Gonzo promoting Muppets from Space in front of the puzzle board, which reads MUPPETS FROM SPACE.
    • Contestant Roy solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $2,500 MAC Cosmetics gift certificate.
    • The Round 3 Prize is two tickets to the premiere of Muppets From Space. The prize description is read by Kermit and Gonzo instead of Charlie with the exception of the prize value.
    • Going to commercial break, Kermit and Gonzo are seen in the control room announcing the next commercial break.
    • No vowel are bought in Round 4.
  • On May 18:
    • Rounds 1 and 5 are both shorter than ten letters (WAITRESS and TEXANS respectively). The former is followed by a Puzzler of APPETIZER. This is a rare instance of the Puzzler being longer than the answer before it.
    • Contestant Leah solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • The Round 2 Prize is Austin Powers memorabilia. The prize description features footage from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and ends with a clip of him saying "Yeah, baby!"
    • The Jackpot graphics use a skinnier font, suggesting that it may have been adjusted in post due to a "null" cycle.
    • A Prize wedge can be seen thrown on the wheel during the Bonus Round.
  • On May 19:
    • The show opens with Kermit and Gonzo at the wheel trying to solve the puzzle MUPPETS FROM SPACE with only the U missing.
    • The Round 2 Prize is movie tickets valid at any Loews, Sony, Cineplex Odeon, or or Magic Johnson Theatres, valued at $3,000. The onscreen graphic for these misspells "Loews" as "Loew's".
    • Going to commercial break, Kermit and Gonzo are watching Wheel as Vanna approaches. They secretly change the TV to Muppets From Space after she leaves.
  • On May 20:
    • The Round 2 Prize is collection of DVDs from Universal Home Video.
    • Round 2 is a Before & After of VANNA WHITE-COLLAR JOB.
    • Round 5 and the Bonus Round is On the Map, the first instance of that category being used more than once on the same show.
    • Pat Sajak forgets to remove the Round 2 Prize from contestant Ann's arrow after contestant Pat solves the puzzle in Round 5.
    • Contestant Pat's letters fill in the bonus puzzle KENYA entirely.
  • On May 21:
    • The show opens with Kermit and Gonzo promoting Muppets from Space in front of the puzzle board, which reads MUPPETS FROM SPACE.
    • The Puzzler (Round 1) and Bonus Round are Thing, while Round 4 is Things.
    • Contestant Mike solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • The Round 2 Prize is a collection of DVDs from Columbia/Tristar and a Sony home entertainment center. The prize description is read by Kermit and Gonzo with Charlie ending "Vanna not included!"
    • Going to commercial break, Kermit and Gonzo are seen in the control room announcing the next commercial break.
    • Round 5 (PAYDAY) is a very rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters, one with only one vowel, one with only three unique consonants and one with none of the five main ones. Is it also not known why this puzzle is categorized as Event instead of Rhyme Time.
    • After the same round goes to Speed-Up, the shot of the board is zoomed in tightly (as was done before Season 5), instead of the whole board being seen.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 5.
    • Contestant Shari accidentally tries to pull off the second E on the W-H-E-E-L holder in the Bonus Round.
    • Shari accidentally calls T and E in the Bonus Round.
    • In honor of his last episode, director Dick Carson appears on-camera after the Bonus Round to chat with Pat and Vanna. During this, black-and-white photos are shown of various people that Carson has worked with, including Merv Griffin and Don Rickles, followed by clips from nighttime shopping-era episodes and 1990s episode bumpers. Strangely, Carson and Pat claim that he became Wheel director in 1982, although he actually began in 1978.
    • At the end of the credits, "Directed by Dick Carson" is shown over footage of him walking off in silence.
  • On May 24:
    • Contestant Michelle spins over the Final Spin bells. She is allowed to complete her turn, after which Pat does the Final Spin.
    • Mark Corwin takes over as director.
  • On May 25:
    • Rounds 1 and 5 are both shorter than ten letters (CATERER and LASSIE respectively). The former has only three unique consonants, while the latter has only two, tying the record for the fewest in one puzzle.
    • Contestant Lillian solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • Pat tosses the Free Spin token into the Mitsubishi Eclipse convertible after contestant Ty hands it over.
    • No vowels are bought in Rounds 4 or 5.
    • Pat forgets to remove contestant Tara's prize after one of her opponents solves Round 4. He corrects this after she solves Round 5.
    • The "only vowels remain" beeps fail to sound in Round 5 until after contestant Tara starts to solve.
    • Six rounds are played.
  • On May 26:
    • Contestant Stuart solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • Contestant Pam spins over the Final Spin bells. She is allowed to complete her turn, after which Pat does the Final Spin.
    • Round 5 (SHORTSTOP) is both a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters and of one with only one vowel.
  • On May 27:
    • Round 2 is Thing, while The Puzzler (also Round 2) is Things. This is the second of only five instances of the Puzzler being the same category as the answer before it.
    • Contestant Nanette solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • Contestant Thor spins over the Final Spin bells. He is allowed to complete his turn, after which Pat does the Final Spin.
    • Round 5 (BOULEVARD) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
    • The bonus puzzle BY DESIGN uses only one line.
  • On May 28:
    • For the fifth of only five times this season, a "bonus" category (Slogan) appears in Round 1.
    • Contestant Alyson solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • Production designer Dick Stiles joins Pat and Vanna for the closing segment, and they show off clips of various set designs.
  • All Puzzlers are solved on the week of May 24, part of a seven-day streak.
  • On May 31:
    • Contestant Bob solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • The Round 2 Prize is dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House worth $2,500.
    • Round 2 is a factually incorrect answer of THREE LITTLE KITTENS LOST THEIR MITTENS (should be "they lost their mittens").
    • Every shot of the Jackpot wedge seems to have been added in post-production, as the second Bankrupt disappears every time.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 3.
    • There is a $10,050 Jackpot win. In a rather rare occurrence, it comes with only vowels remaining.
    • The bonus puzzle ON A WHIM uses only one line.
    • Bob sweeps the game but loses a trip to France in the Bonus Round.

June 1999

  • On June 1:
    • The Round 1 puzzle ATTIC is a tie for the shortest known main game puzzle in the show's history. It also has only two unique consonants, tying the record for the fewest known in a puzzle. It is followed by a Puzzler of COBWEBS, a rare instance of a Puzzler longer than the answer before it.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 1.
    • The Round 2 Prize is a $2,500 IKEA shopping spree.
    • The Round 4 puzzle CUE & FLY BALL is a rare main-game puzzle with none of the five most common consonants.
    • Round 4 goes to Speed-Up with only one consonant (C) missing from the above puzzle.
    • Eleven turns are lost in Round 4, of which nine are wrong letters.
    • In Round 4, no acknowledgement is given that only vowels remain until after Chris gives a wrong answer. This ends up not mattering, as he wins anyway.
    • During the post-game chat, Vanna shows a picture of her then-husband and kids.
  • On June 2:
    • Rounds 1 and 5 (VIOLINIST and SHOELACES) are both shorter than ten letters.
    • Round 1 is Person and its Puzzler is People, the third of only five instances of of the Puzzler being the same category as the puzzle before it.
    • Contestant Eric solves the Puzzler before the timer can start.
    • Round 2's Fill In the Blank puzzle ? MORNING ? SPORT ? WILL HUNTING (Good) does not have its question marks aligned underneath each other, even though such an arrangement could have fit on the board. In addition, the High Rollers chimes do not sound when Pat asks for the common thread.
    • Contestant Steve forgets to pick the Round 2 Prize in Round 4. This does not affect the outcome as he picks it up in his next spin.
    • Pat shows a photo of his lamp during the post-game chat.
  • On June 3:
    • Rounds 1 and 5 (ROAD & TRACK and STOREROOM) are both shorter than ten letters.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 1.
  • On June 4:
    • Round 1 (ATTORNEY) is a rare instance of a puzzle shorter than ten letters.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 1.
    • The High Rollers chimes do not sound in Round 2 when Pat asks for the number in that round's Fill In the Number puzzle.
    • Contestant Marq spins the wheel only twice the entire game hitting Lose a Turn in Round 1 and Bankrupt in Round 2. He also calls one wrong letter in the Speed-Up. As a result, his scoreboard does not light up the entire game.
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