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Go back to Season 28, or forward to Season 30?

A timeline for Season 29 of Wheel of Fortune, which aired in first-run from September 19, 2011 through June 15, 2012.

Season ChangesEdit

  • The Wii animations are retired as intros, though some return as the pre-Round 2 bumpers. The title card graphic is the same as last season's, but it starts with the colored strips flying into place around the logo, and the words "Wheel of Fortune" now appear on the gold center of the logo as they are chanted. Also, the camera now zooms in between the O and F.
  • The relatively consistent rule of having a Same Name or Before & After in every game is reverted, although both categories start appearing in Round 1 with increasing frequency.
  • Each week's theme is now shown on the scoreboards at the top of the show.
  • SPIN ID draws no longer award $50,000 to winners who have an active Sony Card.
    Prizepuzzle
  • The Prize Puzzle and Final Spin graphics are updated to use the color scheme of the Season 28 logo. The former now includes a graphic of a navigational compass, and the latter has two graphics of the Wheel with the words "Final Spin" on two rows in between.
  • The backdrop for Pat and Vanna's post-game chat is two spinning golden Wheels: one at the top, one at the bottom.
  • The green $700 is reduced to $500, and Wild Card moves from it to the pink $900.
  • Some Prize Puzzles this season are less obviously themed to the corresponding prize.
  • The wrong-letter buzzer now sounds after incorrect answers, albeit somewhat inconsistently.
  • Starting this season, the audience does not always shout out suggestions when a contestant decides whether to flip a Mystery Wedge.
  • Two male/one female games become increasingly frequent.
  • Only one locale is now used on road shows.
  • All sixth-episode weeks are once again called "America's Game". During these weeks:
    • The category wipe is the Wheelmobile driving across the screen.
    • The $1,000 Toss-Up has an American theme, a tradition which continues through the present day.
    • The Speed-Up wipe is a red-white-and-blue star which flips across the screen.
    • On some of the episodes, Vanna does a bumper from an American landmark.
  • A lottery promotion runs during this season, through January 11, 2012. The winners receive a $15,000 trip for four to Culver City in April to spin the Wheel for cash or a prize; at least some of these are randomly chosen to play special Lottery Experience Games with Pat, Vanna, Jim, and the same rules as normal episodes.
    • At least some of the winners spin a Wheel replica at their local lottery office around December, with hosting duties handled by Todd Newton.
    • The Lottery Experience Games are recorded but not aired, with strict internet guidelines put on the contestants. Despite this, one such episode surfaced in April 2014.
    • Despite the Lottery Experience Games not being intended for air, they are nonetheless considered to be each contestant's once-in-a-lifetime Wheel appearance.
  • Starting this season, ampersands are used much less frequently, mainly being used in cases where AND would make the puzzle too long (or in the cases of Toss-Ups and puzzles in Rounds 4+, more than two rows) or in Same Letter puzzles when necessary.
  • Starting this season, Season Finales are no longer mentioned on-air.

September 2011Edit

  • September 19 is Home Sweet Home Week, with family teams competing. The Wheel Prize this week (excluding the sixth episode) is $7,500 cash courtesy of Maxwell House.
  • Between September 19 and November 18, the map for SPIN ID draws always shows Alaska and Hawaii; previously, they only appeared if the SPIN ID owner was from one of those states.
  • On several episodes early in the season, a postcard-like graphic is briefly shown on the video wall at the start of the Prize Puzzle copy. This is retired around October.
  • On September 19:
    • Pat briefly mentions that Jim Thornton is the permanent announcer.
    • After the Bonus Round, footage is shown of Vanna at the Gary Center (a social service agency in La Habra, California) promoting the Maxwell House sponsorship.
  • On September 20:
    • Round 2 is the first appearance of What's That Song? since February 8.
    • A new graphic is introduced for the Mystery Round intro showing money in a bank vault. This sequence was recycled from Sony's unsold game show Combination Lock, which had taped pilots during the 2006-07 season. The show alternates between this and the existing graphic consisting of $100 bills on a green background.
    • Bankrupt is hit four times in Round 3. During the second one (by the blue team), their scoreboard does not display the "Bankrupt" graphic.
  • On September 21:
    • There is a $100,000 loss.
    • At the end of the show, everyone in the audience receives a can of Maxwell House coffee.
  • On September 22:
    • During Round 1, a contestant on the yellow team starts to call a repeated R, but catches herself and says S. She is credited with the S, which is in the puzzle.
    • Vanna reads the second line of the Prize Puzzle copy.
    • Before the Bonus Round, one of the winning team's mothers is shown off to the side of the audience in a wheelchair.
    • Following the Bonus Round, Pat shows off his Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • On September 23:
    • Though the red team earns the Wild Card in Round 1, it is absent from the start of Round 2 for unknown reasons. Round 2 does not appear to have a Bankrupt from the red team edited out; however, the team later hits Bankrupt in the same round. It is possible that the presence of the Wild Card was merely forgotten between rounds.
    • Jim appears onstage with Pat and Vanna at the end of the show as they introduce him as the permanent announcer. He does the "Promotional consideration provided by..." tag from center stage, and stays with Pat, Vanna, and the winner during the credits.
  • September 26 is Spa Fantasy Week, taped July 15. During this week, the category wipe for is a floating red flower; the font is far narrower than usual when the strip reveals.
    HalfCar
  • On September 26, the new ½ Kia tags are introduced. Except for Halloween Week, they offer a $15,000 Kia Soul. One is still on the blue $500 next to the red $900, but the other is now on the green $500 (formerly $700). They are not used on weeks with two-person teams, unless the teams are husband and wife.
    • If it is not won, Jim plugs the car after the "Promotional consideration provided by..." tag.
    • Until November 1, Pat explains how they work over an animation of them "flying" off their respective Wheel wedges and joining to form a license plate saying "CAR".
    • For the first week only, contestants who claim ½ Kia tags have a "½ Car" license plate displayed on their scoreboard.
    • On September 26 and 27 only, hitting a ½ Car tag does not award $500 per corect consonant; while tags are hit on both of these dates, this does not affect the outcome in either case.
  • On September 27, contestant Bob is credited with $2,250 after solving Round 2 when he should have won only $1,750, due to being erroneously credited with five S's on $500 instead of four. While this mistake does not affect the outcome, it is never acknowledged or corrected on-camera.
  • On September 28:
    • $500 per consonant is now awarded with the ½ Car tag.
    • The ½ Car (Kia) is won for the first time.
  • On September 29:
    • Movie Quote debuts in Round 1. Strangely, Pat makes no mention of it being a new category.
    • Round 3 is the last appearance of Headline until September 2013.

October 2011Edit

  • During the week of October 3:
    • The category wipe is a driving boat.
    • Vanna promotes the Mystery Round prize.
  • On October 3:
    • TV Quote debuts in Round 2. Once again, Pat makes no mention of it being a new category.
    • The ½ Kia graphic displayed on contestants' scoreboards is changed to match the tags.
    • At the end of the episode, footage is shown of Vanna presenting Pat with his Lifetime Achievement Award (which is also the answer to Round 1).
  • On October 4, Bankrupt is hit six times in Round 2, a tie for the most known Bankrupts in one round; interestingly, five of them are on the Million-Dollar Wedge. All three contestants hit Bankrupt again in Round 3, the third of which claims both ½ Kia tags. Also, at least one other Bankrupt may have been edited out of Round 1.
  • On October 5:
    • Contestant Ashley wins the Kia after picking up three tags: one in Round 1, two in Round 2. When the third tag is picked up, the graphic of the second tag disappears from her scoreboard and its animation is replayed.
    • A Changing Lives segment is shown for a contestant who won on Soap Stars Week in February 2006.
  • On October 6:
    • The Prize is a $12,140 Alaskan cruise.
    • The right-letter ding does not sound when the L is revealed in Round 2.
    • There is a ½ Kia win in Round 2.
  • On October 7:
    • The Prize Puzzle trip is worth $11,500, a rare instance of one worth more than $10,000 on a non-team episode.
    • The third- and second-place contestants have $18,000 and $20,500, respectively. This is also the highest known third-place total until November 2015.
  • During the week of October 10, the category wipe is a flying bird, and the Final Spin wipe is butterflies flying diagonally across the screen.
  • On October 13:
    • Vanna reads all but the first line and value of the Prize Puzzle copy.
    • Food & Drink makes its first appearance in the Bonus Round since September 20, 2010.
  • On October 14, contestant Brenda solves incorrectly on the Jackpot wedge.
  • All five Bonus Rounds are lost on the week of October 10. This is part of an eight-loss streak starting on the 5th.
  • During the week of October 17:
    • The category wipe includes a strip of sand and a palm tree, with the sand dissolving to form the strip.
    • The Wii intro previously used for Desert Oasis week in Season 28, with the Pat and Vanna avatars relaxing against a desert background, is seen before the pre-Round 2 promotional plugs.
    • The Mystery Round is in Round 2 and Prize Puzzles are in Round 3. Also, presumably to avoid having a contestant win two major prizes in the same round, the Prize wedge is now removed after Round 2.
  • On October 18:
    • The scoreboards briefly shut off after the Prize Puzzle is solved. There is also an edit after the wide shot showing all three contestants and Pat, though the displays are still off afterward. They are back on after the trip description, but the winning contestant's round score disappears instead of the usual rotating animation.
    • Neither Bankrupt nor Lose A Turn is hit.
    • At the end of the show, a Changing Lives segment is shown, honoring Maxwell House's donations to a farmers' market in Denver called the Grow Haus.
  • Between October 20 and 31, the show holds a contest sponsored by The Popcorn Factory. Home viewers may tweet each day's bonus puzzle to the show's official Twitter account for a chance to win Halloween snacks and a $100 gift card. This contest is promoted during all six Halloween episodes by a pop-up at the start of the Bonus Round.
  • On October 21:
    • The wide shot of the first spin in Round 2 appears to be reshot, as it shows contestant Michael passing the Million-Dollar Wedge only to land on it; a "null" cycle is unlikely due to the puzzle having all of the common consonants.
    • Later in Round 2, Michael loses $400 cash, the Million-Dollar Wedge, the Wild Card, and the Prize to Bankrupt. An audience member can be heard cheering after it is hit.
    • Two contestants in a row call repeated letters in the Speed-Up.
    • Two "null" cycles in the Speed-Up, one of which includes the aforementioned repeated letter calls, are not edited out.
  • October 24-28 and 31 are Halloween Week. It is also the first taped week of Season 29, recorded on July 14. During this week:
    • The set has fewer Halloween decorations than usual.
    • Two category wipes are used: a jack-o'-lantern on an orange strip (accompanied by a moan) and a witch flying a broomstick on a green strip (accompanied by her cackle). The latter uses a different font during the reveal.
    • A moan accompanies the Mystery Round chord.
    • The "old" round structure from the start of the season is used.
    • The previous season's Wii animation for Halloween Week, with zombie versions of the Pat and Vanna avatars rising from their graves in black-and-white, is used for the pre-Round 2 bumper.
    • The ½ Car tags have "½ Car" in blue text, and offer a $14,999 Ford Fiesta. They also give $500 per consonant, despite not doing so on September 26 and 27 (the first two episodes taped with the ½ Car tags following this week).
  • On October 24, there is a ½ Car win.
  • On October 25, special projects coordinator Curtis Stanton dies.
  • Between October 13 and 25, What Are You Doing? is not used for eight consecutive shows. This results in the week of October 17 being the only known week until the week of December 16, 2013 that the category is not used.
  • On October 26:
    • Wheel Deals is renamed Wheel Deals Wednesdays, and is only promoted on that day.
    • Contestant Brandon sweeps the game but loses $35,000 in the Bonus Round.
  • On October 27:
    • There is a $9,100 Jackpot win. Afterward, Pat comments that the off-screen Jackpot display on the Used Letter Board is "out".
    • Against normal practice, the closed captioning uses proper punctuation (commas in CHEYENNE WYOMING and MORTICIA GOMEZ PUGSLEY & WEDNESDAY ADDAMS, and quotation marks in THE RAVEN BY EDGAR ALLAN POE) instead of reflecting how the puzzles are written on the board.
    • Pat jokes at the start of Round 3 that the category Fictional Family has only been used eight times. At the end of the show, he is told that the category actually had been used only eight times to that point (albeit incorrectly, as this was actually the category's tenth appearance).
  • On October 31, Round 3 is the last appearance of What's That Song?, and the last use of a "bonus" category. Overall, the category is used only six times.

November 2011Edit

  • November 1-4 is Fun & Fit week, a rare instance of a theme lasting less than a full week. During these four episodes:
    • The category wipe is a personal watercraft.
    • The ½ Car tags permanently revert to their Kia design, once again offering a Kia Soul. Also, Pat stops describing how they work.
    • The "new" round structure introduced on October 17 is used.
    • Vanna promotes the Mystery Round prize.
  • On November 1:
    • The Wheel is not in the proper position before Round 1, as the yellow contestant's flipper is on the green $300 instead of $2,500. This was most likely due to it not being reset after practice spins.
    • The Wheel Prize is a $5,000 shopping spree at Dick's Sporting Goods, even though the rest of the week's Wheel prizes are trips.
    • A Changing Lives segment is shown, in which Jack Wagner discusses his and his contestant's win during Soap Stars Week in February 2006.
  • On November 3:
    • There is a $7,750 Jackpot win.
    • There is a $100,000 loss.
  • November 7-22 are the Secret Santa Sweepstakes. During these episodes:
    • Pat, Vanna, Jim, and the first two contestants of that night's show promote the sweepstakes before the intro.
    • The set is decorated for Christmas.
    • When the puzzle is revealed, the category strips have rows of Christmas lights at the top and bottom. During the rest of the round, the strips are "frozen" on the green cycle.
    • The Wheel Prize is a $5,000 Sears shopping spree. Although the wedge is red, it is still in its normal spot on $350, unlike past episodes with red Prize wedges.
    • Three SPIN IDs are drawn per game: ones corresponding to the second- and third-place contestants are drawn after the Speed-Up, and one corresponding to the top winner after the Bonus Round. The owner of each SPIN ID wins whatever cash and prizes his or her corresponding contestant wins. During the draws, the SPIN ID is shown on gold Christmas decorations on a white background with presents, a Sears card, and the Million-Dollar Wedge underneath, with the home viewer's name written in red letters that zoom in underneath the SPIN ID. All of these are covered up with the "Open to U.S. residents only" graphic when aired on CBC.
    • Most Secret Santa Sweepstakes shows are moved from their originally-scheduled dates. It is known that November 7 was originally scheduled for the 11th (further evidenced by the Round 1 puzzle VETERANS DAY PARADE), November 8 for the 21st, November 9 for the 7th, November 10 for the 17th, November 11 for the 15th, November 15 for the 18th, and November 21 for the 10th. November 22 was not moved.
  • On November 7:
    • A contestant takes the Million-Dollar Wedge to the Bonus Round. She wins $30,000 and is only two envelopes away from the $1,000,000.
    • The segment in which Pat reveals the location of the $1,000,000 envelope is done in post-production.
  • On November 8:
    • The blue contestant's scoreboard continues to display the $1,000 from the first Toss-Up, and immediately changes to $3,000 after she solves the second Toss-Up.
    • For the only time since May 23, 2005, a "normal" category is followed by a bonus question. The Round 2 puzzle I'LL GET YOU MY PRETTY AND YOUR LITTLE DOG TOO! (Movie Quote) is followed by Pat asking for the movie that provides the quote; the contestant correctly identifies it as The Wizard of Oz.
    • A tribute for Curtis Stanton is added in after the credits using a picture of Stanton with the caption "In loving memory of Curtis Stanton", which fades in and out.
  • On November 9, no wrong letters are called.
  • On November 10:
    • There is a $7,500 Jackpot win by a contestant who hits the wedge twice before winning it.
    • Vanna almost touches an H in Round 3 instead of a W.
  • On November 11, Pat holds the Bonus Round envelope too low at the end of the round, and it ends up being blocked by the contestant's end-game total. He shows the envelope again after Jim reads the Secret Santa SPIN ID.
  • On November 14, Round 4's puzzle TICK-TOCK TICK-TOCK is a very rare main-game puzzle with only three unique consonants in it. Because of this, a cycle of three lost turns is edited out after the T's are revealed, although the contestant's scoreboard is never shown. Pat references the cycle by saying "There's no S!" on the next aired turn.
  • On November 15:
    • There is a Kia win in Round 1.
    • Rounds 1-3 all have an ampersand in their puzzles.
  • On November 16:
    • Round 1 is the last appearance of Family until November 20, 2013. For only the second known time since the early 1990s, the puzzle spells out AND.
    • The category strip for Round 4 (an Occupation) accidentally changes to TV Title (the category of the $3,000 Toss-Up) after the round goes into Speed-Up.
  • On November 17, after the $2,000 Toss-Up TELEVISION DIRECTOR, Pat asks director Mark Corwin to "have the camera do something", resulting in Pat's face briefly distorting and turning blue while his hair turns bright yellow. Once Jim finishes the Prize plug, the camera shakes and Pat says "Mark Corwin is not only a fine director, but universally beloved", after which the shot cuts to a cue card with that phrase on it. Some extras can be seen in this shot, including a Mystery Wedge, a ½ Kia tag, and the red $300 that replaces the Jackpot in Rounds 2+.
  • On November 18:
    • There are two duplicate categories: the $1,000 Toss-Up and Round 1 are Event, while Round 3 and the Bonus Round are Phrase.
    • Four ½ Kia tags are hit, but none are claimed.
  • On November 21:
    • During Round 1, contestant Daniel tries to buy a vowel despite having only $50. He manages to call a vowel before Pat realizes the error and the "purchase" is voided.
    • The home viewer's state is no longer mentioned during the SPIN ID draw. As a result, their name now appears in larger letters against a ring on either a green, blue, or purple background. According to the show's Facebook page, the state is no longer shown because some people inadvertently omit it when submitting the form.
  • On November 22:
    • Contestant Ainsley mentions that she was in Tulane University's marching band when they played during College Week from New Orleans on May 9-13.
    • A contestant takes the Million-Dollar Wedge and Wild Card to the Bonus Round. As was the case on November 7, she wins $30,000 and is only two envelopes away from the $1,000,000.
  • Since all 12 shows for the Secret Santa Sweepstakes are aired together, November 23-25 is Wheel Loves New York. This appears to be the first time since the Hershey's Pot of Gold Sweepstakes in 2002 that a theme has run for only three days. During these episodes:
    • The opening consists of the regular logo, followed by New York City footage over a unique opening music bed.
    • The category wipe is a taxi driving across the screen.
  • On November 23, the Prize copy includes a trailer for Arthur Christmas.
  • On November 24, the Prize includes tickets to Anything Goes.
  • Beginning November 25, the cameras no longer cut to the contestants before the transition to the split-screen shot when Pat's Final Spin lands on $5,000.
  • During the week of November 28:
    • The category wipe is a snowman sliding across the screen.
    • The Wii intro from the previous season's Christmas week, with the Pat and Vanna avatars ice-skating to form the logo, is used in the pre-Round 2 bumper.
    • A graphic of a log cabin forms the contestant window in the Bonus Round.
  • On November 28:
    • The ½ Car graphic on the scoreboards is the generic blue one.
    • The bonus puzzle GLOBE is the first five-letter bonus puzzle since ICING on February 1, 2008, and the first of only two since November 3, 2009 that is shorter than seven letters. The contestant fails to solve it with only the B missing.
    • The music bed for the "three-and-a-vowel" selection is not muted until three seconds after the timer begins, resulting in the music for the timer briefly playing over it.
  • On November 29:
    • The Prize copy includes a trailer for Hugo.
    • A "null" cycle is not edited out of Round 4 (during Speed-Up).
  • On November 30:
    • Rounds 1 and 2 are played entirely by the person who started them.
    • There is a Kia win. The contestant picks up the second tag immediately after landing on it and puts it on the railing before Pat stops her. She puts it back on the wedge and calls a letter, then picks it back up once the letter is revealed.
    • For the second known time, Places is used in the Bonus Round.

December 2011Edit

  • On December 1 and 2, Vanna wears a shirt and pants.
  • On December 1:
    • Nobody solves the $2,000 Toss-Up, PONDEROSA PINES, the only ring-in coming with only the E in PINES missing. The same puzzle previously went unsolved on May 29, 2007.
    • The Round 2 puzzle THREE LITTLE KITTENS THEY LOST THEIR MITTENS has the most known instances of a consonant in a single puzzle until October 2013, with 10 T's. Interestingly, they do not award any money, due to T being called on the Million-Dollar Wedge.
  • On December 2, Bankrupt is hit five times in the Mystery Round.
  • During the week of December 5 (America's Game), some elements are different than the surrounding weeks:
    • The ½ Kia tags are absent on the 5th, as it is from the season premiere week.
    • December 5-8 retain the "old" round structure.
    • In an unprecedented streak, every episode has a Song Lyrics puzzle.
  • On December 5:
    • Although the rest of the episodes in the taping session had $7,500 cash as the Prize, this episode has a trip.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 1.
    • As family pairs are competing, Jim refers to the $5,000 vehicle bonus in the Bonus Round as "$2,500 cash for each of you."
  • From December 6-16, Vanna announces the Mystery Round prize.
  • On December 8:
    • The Prize copy includes a trailer for Sony Pictures Animation's The Smurfs, which was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on the 2nd.
    • Jim and Vanna both read portions of the Prize Puzzle copy.
    • A Changing Lives segment is shown for a contestant from Kansas City (specifically May 9, 2005, although this is not mentioned).
  • On December 9, the Wheel Prize is a $5,000 shopping spree from Beyond the Rack.com.
  • December 12 is Sandals Golf Getaway. During this week:
    • The floor is blue, with the Sandals logo on the floor at center stage.
    • A sweepstakes is held. Home viewers may submit the bonus puzzle to the show's website for a chance to win a trip to Sandals Emerald Bay.
    • The opening logo is not used. Instead, Pat and Vanna promote the sweepstakes at the top of the show, followed by a Caribbean-sounding piece of music over golf footage.
    • The category wipe is a golf ball being knocked into a hole, with the category written in a different font on the "green".
    • The Wheel Prize is a trip to Sandals Emerald Bay plus Greg Norman apparel. For the first known time, Pat reads the copy.
    • Vanna reads the pre-Round 2 bumper and Mystery Round bumper.
    • All of the Prize Puzzle trips are to Sandals properties.
    • Jim reads a plug for Sandals Resorts before the $3,000 Toss-Up.
    • December 14 is the only game this week not to have two male contestants.
  • On December 12:
    • A spin from Round 2 appears to be added in post-production, possibly due to contestant Count placing the Million-Dollar Wedge on his podium with the front side facing up. This dubbed-in spin lands on the purple $600, though after Count solves on his next turn, his flipper is sitting on the green one. Also, the Prize wedge (which was claimed in Round 1) reappears in the spin, and the Million-Dollar Wedge has its reverse facing up.
    • Vanna reads the Prize Puzzle copy.
    • The Pat & Vanna chat is done from Sandals Emerald Bay.
  • On December 13, Vanna plugs the Reef Golf Course at Sandals Emerald Bay before Round 3. Pat, Lesly, and golfer Greg Norman are also seen in the clip.
  • On December 14:
    • Vanna reads all but the first line of the Prize Puzzle copy.
    • A contestant wins by $50.
  • On December 15:
    • There is a $7,100 Jackpot win by a contestant who hits the Jackpot wedge twice before claiming it.
    • Greg Norman plugs the Reef Golf Course after Round 2.
    • Clips are shown of Pat, Vanna, and Greg at the golf course at the start of the Pat and Vanna chat before wiping back to the studio.
  • On December 16:
    • Contestant Josh appears to say "chips" when solving the Round 2 puzzle CHOCOLATE CHIP SHOT, but this mistake is not realized.
    • At least twice in Round 2, the camera zooms out during a letter call to show the contestant's scoreboard changing, an unusual approach which seems to develop out of nowhere mid-round and is used sporadically for a few episodes afterward.
    • After Josh wins Round 2, his scoreboard displays $21,500, which Pat also says is his total at that point. At the start of Round 3, right after the Prize Puzzle chimes sound, Pat points out that his score is actually $11,500. As a result, the Prize Puzzle wipe does not appear until Pat's explanation is done. The discrepancy is due to the $10,000 Mystery Prize accidentally being added twice.
    • When contestant Cathy picks up a ½ Kia tag in Round 3, the graphic on her scoreboard is the generic blue one from Halloween week, despite the correct graphic being used in Round 1.
  • December 19 (Great Escapes) is the first known Christmas week not to have a Christmas theme or decorations, although Christmas-themed puzzles are still used. During this week, the category wipe is a red car driving across the screen and peeling out.
  • Between December 19 and 29, clips of the staff wishing viewers a Merry Christmas are shown after Round 1. These reveal with a wipe of falling snowflakes.
  • On December 20, there is a Kia win in Round 1.
  • On December 21:
    • The Prize copy includes a trailer for Midnight in Paris.
    • Against precedent, the linking word in Round 2's Before & After (YOU HAD ME AT HELLO DOLLY) is not on its own line, even though it would fit.
  • On December 22:
    • There is a $6,450 Jackpot win.
    • Rounds 1 and 3 are Phrase.
  • On December 23:
    • All three contestants hit Bankrupt consecutively in Round 1.
    • Round 2 is PAT I'D LIKE TO SOLVE THE PUZZLE; while the last two uses of this or a variant thereof were categorized as Phrase, this one is categorized as TV Quote.
  • All five Bonus Rounds are lost on the week of December 19, part of an eight-loss streak.
  • The week of December 26 is Best of the Best. During this week:
    • The "old" game structure of the season premiere week is used.
    • The category wipe is a limousine with camera shutters clicking.
    • The floor is once again black.
  • On December 26, a Changing Lives segment is shown of the show's staff helping out with Rebuilding Together at Watts Community Center in Los Angeles.
  • On December 28 and 29, second sets of holiday greetings from staff members are given after Round 2.

January 2012Edit

  • During the week of January 2 (California Coast):
    • The floor is blue.
    • The category wipe is a red plane flying across the screen.
    • A California State Route 1 highway sign forms the Bonus Round window.
  • On January 2 and 3, the ½ Kia tag over the green $500 is crooked.
  • On January 3:
    • In Round 2, a contestant tries to pick up a ½ Kia tag before calling a letter, but Pat stops her. She calls M, which is not in the puzzle.
    • Following the Bonus Round, Pat shows a clip from the February 13, 1996 episode (erroneously identified as January) where he introduced his daughter Maggie, followed by a clip from the music video of her single "First Kiss". These events are likely done due to the episode airing on Maggie's birthday.
  • On January 4:
    • A contestant is ruled incorrect for adding a redundant A to the beginning of the puzzle FLOPPY WIDE-BRIM HAT.
    • There is a $100,000 loss.
  • On January 5, after a "null" cycle is edited out in the Speed-Up, the Final Spin music can be heard playing over itself from a different spot for the rest of the round. The second layer of music was added to mask the jump cut.
  • January 9 is America's Game.
  • On January 9:
    • There is a Kia win in Round 1.
    • For the last time, the "old" round structure is used.
    • In the Speed-Up, contestant Jody calls a letter before the blue contestant (Anthony) is buzzed out. Later, she tries to call two letters in a row.
  • On January 10 and 11, the Wheel Prize is $5,000 cash from Ally Bank.
  • On January 10, 12, and 13, Vanna announces the Mystery Round prize.
  • On January 11, Pat remarks "There's no R, either. What's going on here?" after an incorrect R in Round 1 despite being the first aired lost turn of the game, signifying a "null" cycle was edited out.
  • On January 12:
    • Vanna wears a shirt and pants.
    • The Wheel Prize is a $5,000 shopping spree at HayNeedle.com, although the wedge just has "Shopping Spree" on it rather than the company's logo.
  • On January 13:
    • The floor is blue.
    • Contestant Brady mentions that his wife was also on the show.
    • Rounds 3, 4, and 5 are played entirely by the person who began them.
    • Six rounds are played, for the first time since April 21, 2011.
    • Two Final Spins appear to have been edited out, due to one landing on Lose A Turn and the other on Bankrupt.
    • Mark takes both the Wild Card and Million-Dollar Wedge to the Bonus Round, where he wins $30,000.
    • Unusually for a two-word bonus puzzle, the answer GOLDEN BOY is on one row instead of two.
  • During the week of January 16:
    • The category wipe is a yellow flower on a purple floral background.
    • The floor is blue.
    • A graphic of a smiling sun with sunglasses forms the contestant window in the Bonus Round.
  • On January 16:
    • The Prize Puzzle TONY AWARD WINNING BROADWAY MUSICAL gives a trip to New York with tickets to Rock of Ages, despite it only having ever been nominated for such awards.
    • During the Final Spin, the transition to the overhead shot is cut incorrectly. The shot starts from the Wheel passing an area that was already shown being passed in the wide shot. As a result, part of the music plays twice.
    • During the Speed-Up, two "null" cycles are edited out. During the first shot of Pat used to mask the edit, the camera is pointed too far to his right. The camera centers him properly just before it cuts back to the normal split-screen shot.
  • Between January 6 and 16, seven Bonus Rounds in a row are played for $30,000.
  • On January 17, the bonus puzzle is still on the board during the credits.
  • On January 18, Around the House makes its first appearance in the Bonus Round since October 2008.
  • On January 19:
    • Contestant Felix spins Free Play five times in a row in Round 3, calling all five vowels.
    • When Jim announces the Prize Puzzle trip (to St. Thomas), a map of Jamaica is accidentally shown instead.
    • The Final Spin is likely re-shot following the round, as the wide shot has the Wheel starting where the "official" spin had stopped.
  • On January 20:
    • The Round 3 puzzle ACE KING QUEEN JACK uses all four rows, despite being small enough to fit on two. It is also not known why the puzzle does not use an ampersand or AND.
    • Six rounds are played.
    • The second-place contestant has $20,650.
  • All five Bonus Rounds are lost on the week of January 16, part of a seven-day losing streak.
  • For the weeks of January 23-February 6, the floor is black.
  • January 23 is Wheel Around the World Week. During this week:
    • The hosts of international adaptations promote the theme at the top of the show: Hungary, Spain, Turkey, and Vietnam on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; Georgia and Turkey on Tuesday; and Georgia, Hungary, Spain, and Turkey on Thursday.
    • The introductory logo is "Wheel Around the World" written on a globe on a blue background, with "Wheel" in the same font as the two-row logo, and the rest in cursive. It zooms in through the O in "Around".
    • The intro logo is also used for the Prize wedge.
    • The category wipe is a globe.
    • A graphic of a passport getting stamped forms the contestant window in the Bonus Round.
    • On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the hosts of the Spanish version greet Pat and Vanna after Round 1; on Tuesday and Thursday, the hosts of the Panamanian version greet them after Round 1 in subtitled Spanish.
    • Clips are shown from an international adaptation during Pat and Vanna's chat: Turkey on Monday, Vietnam on Tuesday, Hungary on Wednesday, Spain on Thursday, and Georgia on Friday.
  • On January 23:
    • The hosts of the Turkish version help announce the Prize, a trip to Istanbul.
    • During the Bonus Round, the category strip is "frozen" on the green cycle.
  • On January 24:
    • There is a $6,000 Jackpot win.
    • In Round 2, contestant Margie stumbles off the contestant platform after revealing the Bankrupt side of a Mystery Wedge, but her stumble is edited out of the broadcast, and replaced with a brief jump cut to a side view. Because it was most likely displayed during the incident, the Bankrupt graphic is not shown.
    • Contestant Kristen solves the Speed-Up puzzle COFFEE-TABLE BOOK (itself improperly hyphenated) with only the T showing.
    • No wrong letters are called.
  • On January 25:
    • There is a Kia win in Round 1.
    • In an interesting coincidence, contestant Precious solves the bonus puzzle PRECIOUS CARGO.
  • On January 26:
    • The hosts of the Spanish version help announce the Prize, a trip to Spain.
    • Round 1, THE AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK, is inexplicably categorized as Place instead of On the Map. Round 4 is also an On the Map puzzle.
  • During the week of January 30:
    • The opening is stylized depictions of gourmet chefs in a kitchen, with the words "Fabulous Food" appearing on a plate of turkey with the two-row logo in pink above it. The camera then zooms in through the O in "Fabulous".
    • Vanna announces the Mystery Round prize.
  • On January 30:
    • New Orleans-based chef John Besh promotes the week's theme after Round 2.
    • Round 4 is the fourth appearance of Fictional Place this season.
  • On January 31, a "null" cycle is not edited out of the Speed-Up.

February 2012Edit

  • On February 1:
    • After Round 1, Vanna is shown at Painters Ice Cream in her hometown of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, sampling a "Vanna Banana" flavor named for her.
    • In Round 2, contestant Sean turns in his Wild Card, but gets buzzed out before calling a letter.
    • After Round 2, chef Tory McPhail of Commander's Palace in New Orleans promotes the week's theme.
  • On February 2, the bonus puzzle DAILY WORKOUT is categorized as Thing. The last time it was used (March 30, 2004), it was categorized as Event.
  • On February 3:
    • Round 1 is only the fifth known instance of Occupations.
    • There is no shot of the board during an entire turn in which a contestant gives a wrong answer to Round 2.
    • Chef Scott Boswell of Stella! Restaurant in New Orleans promotes the week's theme after Round 2.
    • During the Bonus Round, the category strip is "frozen" on the green cycle.
  • February 6 is Military Spouses Week, originally scheduled for March 12 with Wheel Goes Country originally scheduled for this week. It is not known why the latter theme was canceled. During this week:
    • The intro includes military footage before wiping to the studio with the same red-white-and-blue star used as a Speed-Up wipe on America's Game weeks.
    • Pictures of the contestants' spouses are shown during the interview.
    • The category wipe is a series of red-white-and-blue banners which dissolve.
    • The house minimum is $2,000.
    • All contestants also receive a Sony Tablet S. If a contestant finishes with $0, he or she is presented with it after the final round.
    • Jim promotes the Sony Tablet S after the Bonus Round.
  • On February 6, 7, and 10, the Wheel Prize is a shopping spree: at HayNeedle.com on the 6th and 10th, and at HomeGoods on the 7th. All three use the "Shopping Spree" wedge design.
  • On February 6:
    • Michelle Obama gives a pre-recorded greeting after Pat and Vanna walk out.
    • Three females play.
    • In Round 1, Rebecca's score is still displayed as $1,100, her score from before her previous turn (where she earned $400), after she solves the puzzle. The $400 is added just after Pat reads her score as $1,100, briefly confusing him. Immediately afterwards, the other players' scores swivel out and Rebecca's score does the "emphasis" animation as usual.
    • There is a Kia win in Round 2.
    • From this point onward, there is no longer applause during most of the Prize Puzzle copy.
  • On February 7-10, Michelle Obama promotes joiningforces.gov after Round 1.
  • On February 7:
    • For the first known time since March 2008, two forms of Title are used in the same episode: Round 1 is Movie Title, and Round 4 is Song Title.
    • The yellow contestant calls two repeated letters in Round 3. After the second one, the blue contestant tries to buy a vowel despite having no money.
    • After a "null" cycle is edited out in the Speed-Up, the Final Spin music can be heard playing over itself from a different spot for the rest of the round. The second layer of music was added to mask the jump cut.
    • There is a $100,000 loss.
  • On February 8, for the first time since February 2003, a contestant wins two cars: a Kia in Round 3 and a Ford Explorer in the Bonus Round. Strangely, Jim does not say "your grand prize total" when promoting the latter.
  • On February 9, all three contestants are present during the closing. Pat gives two of them a Sony Tablet S, then surprises the third (Maryanne) by reuniting her with her husband.
  • On February 10:
    • Three females play.
    • The Jackpot display does not appear on-screen when that puzzle is solved.
    • Before Michelle starts Round 2, Pat asks her to name her children, since she did not do so in the interview.
    • There is a Kia win in Round 2.
  • February 13 is Sandals Romance Week. During this week:
    • Before the logo, Pat and Vanna promote the sweepstakes.
    • The floor is once again blue with the Sandals logo at center stage.
    • Pictures of the couples are shown during the interviews.
    • The Wheel Prize is a trip to Sandals Emerald Bay. Interestingly, Vanna reads the copy.
    • The category wipe is Cupid shooting an arrow.
    • Vanna promotes the Mystery Round via footage of her at Sandals Emerald Bay.
    • As was the case on the week of December 12, all of the Prize Puzzles are trips to Sandals properties. Also, some of the puzzles themselves appear to be taken straight from Sandals websites and brochures.
    • Two SPIN IDs are drawn after the Bonus Round. Winners receive a trip to Sandals Emerald Bay and $5,000 cash. These are also covered up with the "Open to U.S. residents only" graphic when aired on CBC.
    • Jim promotes Sandals Resorts before the $3,000 Toss-Up.
    • When the week is rerun during the Summer, the opening clip of Pat and Vanna is replaced with a different clip of them promoting only the theme. All other references to the sweepstakes are removed, and the two SPIN ID drawings are replaced with promotional plugs.
  • On February 13:
    • The Round 1 puzzle THE BACHELOR AND THE BACHELORETTE is TV Titles, the only known instance of any subset of Title being pluralized.
    • An error occurs at the beginning of Round 2: $500 is added to the red team's scoreboard rather than $1,000, and after two vowels are bought, Pat tells them to spin. There is then a stopdown, followed by what appears to be a reshoot of the second vowel call, as their display shows the correct score of $750.
    • Vanna reads most of the Prize Puzzle copy.
    • The winning couple (which does not solve the bonus puzzle) is only two spaces from the $1,000,000 envelope.
    • The closing segment is done from Sandals Emerald Bay.
  • On February 14, the closing segment begins with Pat and Lesly promoting Sandals Emerald Bay before cutting back to them in the studio.
  • On February 15:
    • In Round 1, the husband of the red team calls K while his wife calls S. Pat asks them to decide on one letter, and they choose S, which is in the puzzle.
    • Vanna reads most of the Prize Puzzle copy.
    • Because of the Sandals plug, the Wheel Deals plug is before Round 3 instead of before the $3,000 Toss-Up.
    • In the final segment, Vanna promotes Sandals' WeddingMoons wedding arrangements.
  • On February 16, the husband of the blue team calls U, then changes to O. Pat tells him that they have to accept the U, which is in the puzzle.
  • On February 17:
    • Husband & Wife (in Round 1) uses an ampersand for the last time.
    • Vanna promotes Sandals Resorts' Junkanoo parties after Round 2.
    • Jim promotes Sandals Resorts again after the Bonus Round.
    • The closing segment is done from Sandals Emerald Bay.
  • During the week of February 20 (American Landmarks):
    • The America's Game show is taped first instead of sixth.
    • The category wipe is a dissolving graphic of the Golden Gate Bridge accompanied by a foghorn.
  • On February 20:
    • The Round 1 puzzle THE MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI is inexplicably categorized as Thing instead of On the Map.
    • According to one of the other contestants, a shot of contestant Cassie landing on $3,500 is re-shot due to her not showing enough emotion.
    • The Round 5 puzzle CHECKMATE! is a now-rare maingame puzzle that is shorter than 10 letters.
  • On February 21:
    • Contestant Ryne spins Free Play five times in a row in Round 1.
    • Contestant Touwana hits Bankrupt five times over the course of four rounds.
  • On February 23, contestant Lou solves the $2,000 Toss-Up DESERT COYOTE as "Desert... no... coyote." The board briefly resumes filling in letters, but stops when her answer is accepted.
  • On February 24:
    • The $1,000 Toss-Up LADY LIBERTY is inexplicably categorized as Landmark instead of Fictional Character, as "Lady Liberty" typically refers to the character herself.
    • The Million-Dollar Wedge is picked up on the first turn of the game, then lost to Bankrupt immediately after.
  • During the week of February 27:
    • The floor is again blue.
    • A Hawaiian-sounding piece of music plays in place of the opening theme, and as a commercial bumper.
    • The category strip features a dashboard hula dancer when it reveals.
    • The Speed-Up wipe is an "explosion" of colorful flowers with a harp sound.
  • On February 27, there is a $7,300 Jackpot win.
  • On February 29, in an unusual move, every vowel purchase in Round 3 is followed immediately by a shot of all three contestants.

March 2012Edit

  • On March 1, contestant Jennifer wins a ½ Kia tag in Round 1; despite hitting three more tags (one in Round 2 and two in Round 3), she still does not win the Kia.
  • On March 2, the first letter of the SPIN ID does not match the name announced with it.
  • March 5 is America's Game. As a result:
    • On March 5, 6, and 9, Vanna announces the Mystery Round prize. All three announcements use the same clip.
    • On March 7 and 8, the floor is blue.
  • On March 5:
    • In Round 2, contestant Ashley accidentally calls a vowel on the Wild Card. This is edited out, and she calls L, which is in the puzzle.
    • In the same round, Ashley lands on the Mystery Wedge next to Lose A Turn but calls a wrong letter. Later, she lands on the one next to the Million-Dollar Wedge and flips it over to find $10,000 on the reverse.
    • Ashley wins the Kia in Round 3.
    • Neither Bankrupt nor Lose A Turn is hit.
    • Ashley accidentally calls M twice in the Bonus Round, the second time from her Wild Card. She then solves WIND-UP TOY despite getting no help from her extra letters, making her the eighth contestant to get no help even with a Wild Card (and the first since May 24, 2010), and the first since September 2009 to solve a bonus puzzle despite getting no help from their letters.
  • On March 6 and 7, the Wheel Prize is $5,000 cash from Ally Bank.
  • On March 6:
    • Against normal practice this season, the $1,000 Toss-Up (CUDDLY TEDDY BEAR) is not explicitly American-themed.
    • After contestant Kim solves Round 2 with $750 and a ½ Kia tag, Pat asks Harry if her score is still increased to the house minimum of $1,000 due to the tag. He tells Pat "yes" just as her score changes to $1,000.
    • In Round 3, a cycle of three lost turns is edited out despite not being "null"; the first lost turn is an incorrect vowel, resulting in a $250 inconsistency in contestant Laura's score. This also affects the final score (but not the outcome) as Laura solves the puzzle without hitting Bankrupt. The cycle was likely cut due to the first three rounds running overtime.
  • On March 7:
    • Rounds 1-3 are played entirely by the contestant who began them.
    • The second-place contestant has $24,650.
  • On March 8, a contestant (who does not solve her bonus puzzle) misses the $1,000,000 by one envelope.
  • On March 9, neither Bankrupt nor Lose A Turn is hit.
  • March 12 is Big Money Week. During this week:
    • The "Big Money" logo on the center-stage video wall includes the "bank vault" Mystery Round animation introduced in September, but played in reverse to have the vault opening instead of closing.
    • The category strips are a brownish-green, and feature a golden dollar sign when they reveal.
    • The Final Spin wipe is a series of falling dollar bills.
    • Amounts of $65,000, $75,000, and $85,000 are added to the Bonus Wheel. None are hit, and their envelopes are never shown otherwise.
  • On March 12, the right-letter ding is accidentally used on the first letter revealed in the Speed-Up.
  • On March 13:
    • All three contestants hit Bankrupt consecutively in Round 3.
    • There is a $100,000 loss by a contestant who lost the Million-Dollar Wedge to Bankrupt in Round 2.
  • On March 14:
    • The Wheel Prize is a $5,000 shopping spree at HayNeedle.com, using the January 12 wedge design.
    • Two contestants pick up ½ Kia tags in Round 3, rendering it impossible for either to win the Kia.
  • On March 15, no vowels are bought in Round 1.
  • On March 16:
    • Against normal practice, Jim's response to Pat's throw before the Jackpot plug ("I'm just having a ball, Pat, thank you for asking!") is not edited out of the CBC airing, most likely due to it setting up the below response.
    • After Jim finishes the Round 1 Prize copy, Pat jokes that Jim "is sitting in a little 2-foot-by-3-foot cubicle alone, but he's having a ball." He is then shown in his booth.
    • Two repeated vowels are bought in Round 1.
    • Round 1's puzzle YOU SCRATCH MY BACK AND I'LL SCRATCH YOURS is the longest known puzzle with no E since September 30, 2009.
    • No vowels are bought in Round 2.
    • After calling a repeated R in Round 3, contestant Taylor grunts loudly, slumps over the railing, and tells contestant Dave "Have fun, man." Pat then walks over to console Taylor, and tells him jokingly to "man up".
    • Unusually for a Speed-Up round, a stock audience groan is dubbed in after an incorrect letter.
    • There is a $100,000 loss, resulting in the sixth instance of that envelope being hit twice in a week.
  • During the week of March 19 (Weekend Getaways):
    • Vanna promotes the week's theme at the top of the show while standing outdoors. The pre-Round 2 bumper is also shot in various outdoor settings.
    • The category wipe is a loaded station wagon driving across the screen.
  • On March 19:
    • The Round 1 puzzle TO DREAM THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM is accidentally categorized as Quotation instead of Song Lyrics. This previously happened on October 6, 2008.
    • The right-letter ding is accidentally used for the first letter revealed in the Speed-Up.
  • On March 20:
    • There is an $11,050 Jackpot win.
    • The Prize Puzzle copy includes a promo for The Adventures of Tintin.
  • On March 21:
    • The $1,000 Toss-Up, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, is inexplicably categorized as Things instead of Events.
    • The Round 2 puzzle MOIST WARM BANANA BREAD uses all four rows, despite being small enough to fit on two.
    • Vanna does another themed bumper after Round 2.
  • On March 22 and 23, in an unusual move, the $1,000 Toss-Ups (GETTING AN EARLY START and SHALL WE PLAY A GAME?) are themed towards the puzzles' respective point in the game (a practice commonly done with Speed-Up puzzles) rather than the week's theme.
  • On March 23:
    • Round 2 is the last appearance of Fictional Family.
    • Pat mis-hears contestant Daveon's call of S during the Speed-Up, and starts to tell him "no" while Vanna walks towards an S in the puzzle before turning around. Daveon then clarifies that he called S, and Vanna goes back to reveal the S's.
  • During the week of March 26 (Exotic Far East), the Final Spin wipe is a paper fan unfolding and folding.
  • On March 26, contestant Mike wins two cars: a Kia in Round 1 and a Honda Accord in the Bonus Round.
  • On March 27:
    • Contestant Jeremy gets two ½ Kia tags (one in Round 1 and one in Round 2), but loses both to a Bankrupt in Round 2. He gets another in Round 3.
    • After contestant Kristin finds the $10,000 Mystery Wedge, she places it on her arrow with the $1,000 side facing up. She corrects this mistake, though it is edited out, resulting in a jump cut showing the $10,000 side suddenly facing up.
    • After Jeremy wins Round 3, his total is erroneously stated (and shown on his scoreboard) as $14,800, with Pat noting that it may be wrong. This error is because the value of the Prize Puzzle trip from the previous show ($6,900) was added to his total instead of that of the current show ($5,000). Before the $3,000 Toss-Up, Pat notes that Jeremy's score is actually $12,900.
    • In Round 5, Jeremy asks to solve, then asks if he can spin instead. Pat allows him to spin since he did not give an answer to the puzzle.
    • Six rounds are played. Round 6 is a non-sequitur answer of TWISTER & CLUE, a puzzle that was previously used on February 1, 2008.
    • There is a $100,000 loss.
    • At the end of the show, Pat accidentally reveals that there will be a $100,000 win this season, apparently not realizing that said episode (which would air April 26) had been taped, but not yet aired.
  • On March 28:
    • Contestant Minnie mentions that her uncle was on the show about 25 years ago.
    • In a very rare occurrence, RSTLNE reveals more than half of the bonus puzzle (BASIC REQUIREMENTS).
    • Minnie accidentally calls L in the Bonus Round, then calls P twice.
  • On March 29:
    • When contestant Amira hits Lose A Turn in Round 1, her scoreboard does not show the Lose A Turn graphic, despite the camera staying on her long enough.
      Headquarters
    • The Round 4 puzzle SECRET HEADQUARTERS is one space further to the right than usual.
  • On March 30:
    • There is an $11,700 Jackpot win.
    • When contestant Dennis picks up a ½ Kia tag in Round 2, his scoreboard displays $1,000 despite only getting one consonant. This does not affect the game since he does not win the round.
    • Contestant Kym hits Bankrupt five times over the course of three rounds, one of which is from the Mystery Wedge.
    • interestingly, one contestant solves all three Toss-Ups, and another solves all other maingame puzzles.
  • Starting March 30, the cameras once again cut back to the contestants if Pat's Final Spin lands on $5,000.

April 2012Edit

  • During the week of April 2 (Back to the Beach):
    • The category wipe is a yellow sports car peeling out.
    • The online preview video uses the Wii avatar opening from last season's "World's Best Beaches" week.
  • On April 2, Pat does not prompt contestant Tina to use her Wild Card on $2,500 in Round 1. In Round 3, he does prompt her to use it on $3,500, which she does successfully.
  • On April 3:
    • In Round 1, contestant Nathan spins $400 five times in a row.
    • The Prize Puzzle copy includes a trailer for Titanic in 3-D.
    • In Round 4, contestant Wendy calls M immediately after calling a wrong letter on Free Play, but before spinning again. Against precedent, she is asked after her next spin if she still wants to call M, instead of being automatically credited with that letter. The ruling is ultimately irrelevant, as she calls M regardless and fills in the entire puzzle by doing so.
    • The original Bonus Round (EXACTLY ALIKE) is thrown out due to Pat accidentally crediting contestant Aysha with a right answer when she said EXACTLY ALIVE. That answer is reused on September 18, 2012.
  • On April 4:
    • When contestant Temi picks up a ½ Kia tag in Round 3, she places it on her arrow instead of the railing.
    • Neither Bankrupt nor Lose A Turn is hit.
  • On April 5, there is a $7,000 Jackpot win.
  • The week of April 9 is Shopping Spree. During this week:
    • The Wheel Prize is a $5,000 shopping spree (from CreditCards.com on Monday, HayNeedle.com on Tuesday, Beyond the Rack on Wednesday, HomeGoods on Thursday, and Dick's Sporting Goods on Friday), all using the same wedge design from January 12.
    • The category strips and Final Spin wipe are the same as on Big Money Week on March 12.
  • On April 9, contestant Annette wins the Kia after picking up both tags on her first two spins.
  • On April 10:
    • In Round 5 (before Speed-Up), Pat says "We do have N's" despite no prior wrong letters, signifying a "null" cycle was edited out.
    • Contestant Krystal solves the Speed-Up puzzle MOUNTAIN BIKING just ahead of the buzzer. After an obvious edit, Pat tells her that she is right, then the camera cuts to a full shot of the board.
    • In a very rare occurrence, RSTLNE reveals more than half of the bonus puzzle (GET TO THE POINT).
  • On April 12:
    • There is a $10,800 Jackpot win.
    • The bonus puzzle A FEW LAUGHS is categorized as Phrase. The last time it was used (October 12, 2007), it was categorized as Things.
  • On April 13:
    • Bizarrely, the third-place contestant wins the Prize Puzzle, the second-place contestant wins the $10,000 Mystery prize and two Toss-Ups, and the top winner does so with no prizes or Jackpot, nor any correct letters on the top dollar value.
    • There is a $100,000 loss.
  • During the week of April 16 (Wheel Across America):
    • Vanna promotes the theme at the top of the show against a shot of a cityscape.
    • The category wipe is the Wheelmobile one used for "America's Game" weeks.
  • On April 16:
    • Contestant Terry loses $20,500 and a ½ Kia tag to Bankrupt in Round 2; Holly loses $1,900 cash, the Gift Tag, and two ½ Kia tags to Bankrupt in Round 3. Overall, a total of $38,400 (counting the Gift Tag and Kia) is lost to Bankrupt. This is also a rare occurrence where the only Bankrupts in the game claim more than $10,000 each (counting the value of prizes).
    • Before Holly starts Round 3, Pat briefly plugs the Portland tapings, since Holly is from Oregon.
  • On April 17:
    • There is a $13,150 Jackpot win.
    • Round 4 is SPEECHWRITER, suggesting that Rounds 1-3 ran overtime.
  • On April 18, there is a Kia win.
  • On April 19:
    • Though Bankrupt is hit three times, no money or cardboard is ever lost.
    • The bonus puzzle COOKIE JAR is inexplicably categorized as Thing instead of In the Kitchen (the category it was given on its last use, the $2,000 Toss-Up on May 6, 2009).
  • On April 20, the lights go out after the Bonus Round. Surprisingly, this is left in.
  • All five Bonus Rounds are lost on the week of April 20, part of a nine-day losing streak starting on the 12th.
  • April 23 is America's Game. During this week:
    • Vanna reads the Mystery Round copy.
    • A graphic of the Statue of Liberty is added to the category strip for this and all subsequent "America's Game" weeks.
    • The April 24-27 shows were originally supposed to air on the 25th, 24th, 27th, and 26th, respectively.
  • On April 23, the floor is blue for the last time this season.
  • On April 24, some broadcasts appear to have muted contestant Kristine saying "damn it" after losing the Bonus Round.
  • On April 25:
    • Contestant Whitney loses $21,150 to Bankrupt in Round 2.
    • There is a Kia win in Round 3.
    • The Prize Puzzle copy includes a trailer for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.
    • Pat and Vanna promote Maxwell House and Rebuilding Together in the final segment. From this point onward, Rebuilding Together once again receives a $2,500 donation for every Bonus Round win.
  • On April 26:
    • Despite being the sixth episode from Military Spouses Week, the house minimum is $1,000 and the contestants do not receive a Sony Tablet S. The reduction of the house minimum ends up affecting the outcome: contestant Eva wins $1,200 in Round 2, then loses the game by $622.
    • Three females play.
    • There is a $100,000 win, the first of the season. The puzzle, BACK IN A FLASH, previously resulted in a $100,000 win on May 15, 2006. Unusually, Jim announces the win as "We're giving you a check made out to cash..."
  • On April 27:
    • Rounds 1 and 2 are played entirely by the person who began them.
    • Vanna reads part of the Prize Puzzle copy from Sandals Whitehouse European Spa & Village.
  • The weeks of April 30-May 21 are taped at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon on March 30-31 and April 2-3, the first time since Season 12 that four consecutive weeks are done from the same locale. They are also the last tapings of Season 29, barring the unaired Lottery Experience promotion. During all of the Portland episodes:
    • The on-screen bug reads "Wheel in Portland".
    • Vanna does the promotional consideration bumpers and Mystery Round copy from various Portland-area landmarks.
  • During the weeks of April 30, May 7, and May 21, Vanna promotes the theme at the top of the show, followed by a title card reading "Wheel of Fortune [name of theme week] from Portland" against a cityscape graphic, while the first few bars of the opening theme play. A unique music bed plays under footage of the city, but it changes back to the normal opening theme (cued up at the 0:44 mark instead of picking up from where it left off) as Jim introduces Pat and Vanna.
  • April 30 is Going Green Week. During this week, the category wipe is a garbage truck and the Final Spin wipe is the same as on Big Money Week.
  • On April 30:
    • Vanna wears a shirt and pants.
    • Two contestants in a row call D in Round 1.
    • All of the cardboard except one ½ Kia tag is removed from the Wheel in Round 1, but all of it is lost to Bankrupt: the Gift Tag, Prize, Wild Card, and other ½ Kia tag from contestant Manny, and the Million-Dollar Wedge from contestant Emily immediately afterward.
    • Emily gets both ½ Kia tags in Round 2, but does not solve.
    • Emily wins the $100,000.

May 2012Edit

  • On May 1:
    • Wheel is pre-empted in many Central and Eastern affiliates airing the show at 7:30 PM Eastern due to a speech from President Obama, as it is the one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death. Broadcasts pick up just before the $3,000 Toss-Up.
    • Bankrupt is hit five times in Round 1, three of which are consecutive. It is hit three more times in Round 3.
    • Vanna and Portland mayor Sam Adams do a bumper before the $3,000 Toss-Up.
  • On May 2:
    • Contestant Adam has his roommate spin the Wheel for him.
    • Vanna and Sam Adams do a bumper after Round 1.
  • On May 3:
    • Two of Pat's comments to contestant Jerod in Round 2 reference "null" turns that were edited out: first, saying that he will "break the logjam" after calling a correct letter despite only one other wrong letter airing, and later saying "You know, that's been called." when he calls a repeated A on Free Play, suggesting that one of the edited-out turns was also a repeat.
    • The unsolved bonus puzzle reveals like one that is solved: the entire answer is put up at once (instead of the letters revealing one at a time in a zig-zag pattern) and the board's border flashes.
  • On May 4, the final segment shows footage from an electronics recycling event held by Wheel, Sony, and IMS Electronics Recycling at Washington Square Mall in Tigard, followed by Pat promoting Sony's Ecotrade program.
  • May 7 is Portland Week. During this week, the category wipe is a leaping pink deer and the Final Spin wipe is a rose.
  • On May 7:
    • Vanna and Sam Adams promote the week's Bonus Round car after the Speed-Up.
    • Vanna does the closing segment from Voodoo Doughnuts before cutting back to the studio, where Pat and Vanna sample various doughnuts, including one decorated to look like the Wheel.
  • On May 9, there is a $7,850 Jackpot win.
  • On May 10:
    • The Wheel Prize is a $5,000 HomeGoods shopping spree, using the "Shopping Spree" design seen several times this season.
    • For the first time, a contestant gives a wrong answer while on Free Play without calling a letter first.
    • There is a very rare occurrence of a contestant solving the Speed-Up without any money.
    • In the Bonus Round, Pat forgets to ask contestant Jamie for the extra consonant from her Wild Card until he is reminded from offstage.
    • Interestingly, none of the puzzles (including the Toss-Ups and bonus puzzle) have S in them.
    • In the final segment, Vanna narrates a short segment about Portland's environmentally-friendly practices.
  • On May 11:
    • Vanna does two bumpers: one from Crown Point after Round 1, and one from Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden before the $3,000 Toss-Up.
    • For the entire second spin of Round 2, the camera stays focused on the puzzle board. After the Wheel stops, there is then a cut to Pat saying "$450"; the contestant area is never shown, nor is the overhead shot of the Wheel until after the cut to Pat. It is not known what caused the odd editing, but a "null" cycle is unlikely as the puzzle has all of the common consonants.
  • May 14 is College Week. During this week:
    • Oregon Basketball's band plays music during the intro and commercial bumpers, and the University of Oregon cheerleading team introduces Pat and Vanna. Unlike the other Portland episodes, there is no cold open before the title card.
    • The show holds a sweepstakes via Twitter. A partially-filled puzzle is shown at the bottom of the screen during the contestant interviews, and viewers may tweet the correct response to the show's Twitter account with the hashtag #WOFCollegeWeek for a chance to win $500. When the week is rerun during the Summer, all references to the sweepstakes are removed.
    • The category wipe is a white banner reading "College Week".
    • The wipe for the Jackpot plug is a graphic of the Oregon Convention Center's front.
    • The Wheel Prize is $5,000 courtesy of Ally Bank.
  • On May 14:
    • The category strip disappears briefly in Round 2.
    • In Round 4, contestant Breanna calls a single consonant on $5,000, buys all five vowels, then solves.
    • Rounds 1, 2, and 4 are played entirely by the person who began them.
    • Contestant Caleb finishes in second place with $26,930.
  • On May 15, contestant Zach accidentally asks to buy an N in Round 2, then corrects himself to say I. Against normal practice, Pat rules it as an I, although the ruling is irrelevant due to I having already been bought anyway.
  • On May 16, contestant Alyssa lands on a ½ Kia tag in Round 3. As this occurs one turn after the other tag in that round is lost to Bankrupt, her tag is useless.
  • On May 17:
    • The $1,000 Toss-Up EXTRA CREDIT is inexplicably on one line instead of two.
    • Round 1 is a rare What Are You Doing? puzzle without an "-ING" suffix: in this case, HANDSTANDS SOMERSAULTS AND BACKFLIPS.
    • The winning contestant leaves with only $8,200.
  • On May 18, after contestant Shasta loses her turn in Round 3, the red area's neon housing stays lit while Danielle plays; although the yellow area's housing is not lit, the scoreboard displays the flashing arrows. The problem is corrected after Danielle loses her turn.
  • May 21 is Great Outdoors. During this week, the category wipe is a row of trees, and the Final Spin wipe is a bike route sign.
  • Apparently, May 21 was originally scheduled for May 24.
  • On May 21, there is a $7,950 Jackpot win.
  • On May 22:
    • The original Round 1 is thrown out due to Pat mishearing a letter called by a contestant.
    • The Prize copy includes a trailer for Men in Black 3.
    • There is a jump cut to Pat during the Speed-Up, causing the music to play over itself for the rest of the round. It is not known what was edited out, since the puzzle (AND THE CROWD GOES WILD) does not lack any of the common consonants, and the edit came after only the third turn.
    • In the final segment, Vanna narrates footage of Pittock Mansion.
  • On May 24, Vanna does a short bumper about Portland's bike trails before the $3,000 Toss-Up.
  • On May 25:
    • The $1,000 and $3,000 Toss-Ups (FISHING TRIP and MOUNT HOOD, respectively) are inexplicably on one line instead of two.
    • Contestant Brad starts to say the answer to the $1,000 Toss-Up without ringing in, allowing contestant Devan to cut him off by ringing in with the right answer.
    • In Round 3, contestant Hannah loses a ½ Kia tag to Bankrupt, then hits the other (now-useless) ½ Kia tag.
    • In the final segment, Pat and Vanna eat a replica of a $1,000,000 envelope.
  • During the week of May 28 (Great Adventures):
    • The category wipe is an ATV.
    • The pre-Round 2 bumper uses the Wii avatar opening from last season's "Gone Fishin'" week.
  • On May 28, Pat and Vanna do a Changing Lives segment on contestant Nancy Kenzler, who won $114,650 on December 21, 2007.
  • On May 30:
    • The $1,000 Toss-Up (AT A MOMENT'S NOTICE) is not explicitly themed.
    • No wrong letters are called.
    • Rounds 2, 3, and 4 (which ends as a Speed-Up) are played entirely by the person who began them.

June 2012Edit

  • On June 1:
    • Pat accidentally asks Vanna to start revealing the contestant's Bonus Round letters before she has called a vowel.
    • Pat and Vanna do their chat from the board. A single blank is on the board as Vanna demonstrates how the monitors work.
  • June 4 is Newlyweds Week. During this week:
    • The category wipe is a pair of doves carrying the strip in their beak. Both during the wipe and Toss-Up rounds, the strips are teal.
    • During the interviews, pictures are shown of each couple.
    • The Bonus Wheel chime is replaced with chimes playing two measures of Felix Mendelssohn's "Wedding March".
  • On June 5:
    • The wide shot of the first spin of Round 3 is re-shot following the round, evidenced by the Wheel starting in the exact same position as when the round ended. For this shot only, the ½ Kia graphic is missing from the blue team's scoreboard (they claimed a tag in the previous round).
    • The bonus puzzle IN A HURRY is entirely on one line; this appears to be an accident, as Vanna is standing closer to the middle of the board but suddenly backs up when the blanks appear.
  • On June 6:
    • No vowels are bought in Round 1.
    • Round 2 is the first instance since February 2008 of Author/Title being used instead of Title/Author.
    • There is a Kia win in Round 3.
  • On June 7:
    • The right-letter ding does not sound when the I is revealed in Round 2.
    • The second place contestant has $21,510.
  • On June 8:
    • A team solves the $1,000 Toss-Up BRIDESMAIDS with only the second S showing.
    • Husband & Wife reverts to spelling out AND.
    • The video wall freezes in one round, causing a stopdown.
  • June 11 is America's Game. During this week, Vanna reads the Mystery Round copy.
  • On June 13, the Prize copy includes a trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man.
  • On June 14, all three contestants hit Bankrupt consecutively in Round 2.
  • On June 15, the Round 1 puzzle JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! is a very rare main-game puzzle with none of the five most common consonants. Probably as a result, the round starts with five consecutive lost turns, although the last three are edited out.

The Lottery Experience GamesEdit

LotteryExperienceWheelLogo
  • Taped April 26 (after the last Season 29 tapings but before the first of Season 30), these special episodes have several things different than the norm:
    • The puzzles all appear to be deliberately recycled from various episodes from Seasons 24-28. On the first episode, the second Toss-Up MILLIONS AND BILLIONS originally used an ampersand.
    • During the intro, a banner reading "The LOTTERY EXPERIENCE Game" flies onscreen from the bottom and settles above the logo. The logo is also present on the center-stage video wall, but forms differently: the "LOTTERY EXPERIENCE" banner drops in from above the logo, with "The" and "Game" sliding in from the left and right, respectively.
    • The above banner appears in the bottom-left corner for most of the show, moving to the bottom-right for the Prize Puzzle and top-left for the Bonus Round.
      LotteryExperienceWheelPrize
    • The Wheel Prize is $5,000, using the "$100 bills" Mystery Round intro graphic (although the font is one not known to have been used on the normal show). The wedge is blue with a white border, with "CASH" written horizontally and "$5000" vertically in the Clarendon font. This is the first known time since April 1998 that a Prize wedge uses text instead of a graphic.
    • The Gift Tag is $1,000 cash, represented by a $1,000 bill.
    • Before the Bonus Round, an ad is shown for the Wheel of Fortune lottery game, with Pat and Vanna as convenience store workers who sell a ticket to a female patron before cutting to them and Jim promoting the game. The ad also includes footage of the yellow arrow landing on the Million-Dollar Wedge, placed reverse-up on the pink $300 (which would become the wedge's actual position in Season 31).
    • The Bonus Round car is a $44,115 Chevy Camaro convertible, and the cash bonus is increased from $5,000 to $15,000. This is the most expensive car known to be offered since the Bonus Wheel's debut in Season 19.
    • During the Bonus Round, the 10-second timer is shown counting down (in tenths of a second) between RSTLNE and the contestant's letters, displayed in a blue ellipse similar to the kind used for the category strips in Seasons 14-17. Given when this was taped, it is possible that this was an experiment for the use of an onscreen timer beginning in Season 30.
    • Following the Sony Pictures Television logo, a segment is shown of Jim interviewing the winner at the contestant area; the video wall shows the Season 29 logo.
    • As the episodes are not meant for broadcast, many aspects are different from standard episodes:
      • The Jackpot "sponsor" is Wheel itself, using the Season 29 logo. Jim's copy notes that the show is "Celebrating 30 years as America's Game!"
      • The Prize Puzzle and Bonus Round car copy do not include any sort of promotion.
      • There are no promotional consideration plugs, instead going straight from the sign-offs to the credits.
      • The episode is not edited for time in the same fashion as normal episodes, as Wheel spins are not shortened and "null" cycles are not edited out of at least Speed-Up rounds. Despite not being bound by the standard half-hour runtime, Round 4 starts with the Final Spin, although Pat notably does not say that they are running out of time.
      • The audience is still "sweetened" by prerecorded cheers and applause like on normal episodes.
  • On one of the episodes in the above taping session (Mary/Eric/Guy):
    • The slate notes the episode is #MDI-1, separating it from the nighttime show's "#S-[number]" designation. It is not certain what "MDI" stands for.
    • Guy accidentally says the answer to the $1,000 Toss-Up (THE GANG'S ALL HERE) without ringing in.
    • Guy picks up the $10,000 Mystery Wedge, but puts it on his arrow with the $1,000 side facing up. Possibly because the episode was not intended to air, Pat does not prompt him to fix this.
    • In Round 3, Eric lands on a ½ Kia tag immediately after the round's other tag is lost to Bankrupt, but he calls a wrong letter on it.
    • During Round 4, Guy accidentally tries to buy a vowel after calling a correct consonant.

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