Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wheel of Fortune Makes Me Feel Dumb

The same thing with crossword puzzles. More than most of the time, I think of myself as someone who is probably way smarter than you. Way, way, way smarter. This feeling of general superiority lasts through most of my day, up until the moment I try to do a crossword puzzle or if I happen to catch a show that combines the concepts of fate, words, and boring personal stories.

The thing that really gets me about crossword puzzles and Wheel of Fortune is that people who I can pretty objectively prove are my intellectual minors are hundreds of thousands of times better than me at these word games. I'll look at a puzzle like "_ombination Mi_rowa_e and O_en" and if you granted me all the time in the world, I would not be able to figure it out. Maureen suggested that maybe this means I'm not as smart as I would like to think I am, but that sounds like an absurd notion to me. My brain has no flaws except for my inability to make words with letters, and lots and lots of other things.

While I am taking an in depth look at Wheel of Fortune, do you hate prize puzzles as much as I do? These make me furious. There is no way that the contestants should get the value of the prize puzzle toward their aggregate "winnings" over the course of the show. Give them the prize, give them the money they won fair and square during the puzzle, but absolutely do not count the cost of the trip toward their total winnings. The prize is often on the order of $7-8K, and this is way more than any individual typically wins in any given puzzle. I wish someone would do a study to figure out what percentage of people who win the prize puzzle go on to the bonus round. My guess is that it is somewhere on the order of 70-75%, and that does not leave enough fortune up to the wheel.

Now that I'm thinking about the bonus round, how much does this suck these days anyway? Man it sucks. They claim that somewhere on the mini-wheel there is a prize for $100K, but I can't remotely think of the last time someone opened up the $100K envelope either in victory or in crushing failure. It's always the stupid $25K, $30K, or car that there is no way they can possibly prefer over the money envelopes. Stop playing cheap Wheel of Fortune. Unlike most people, though, I can not fault Pat Sajak or Vanna White for their completely undeserved level of fame and (assumed) fortune. If I could make bank by pressing a square of light, I would ride that horse until it bucks me.


Anonymous said...

For the took me the ENTIRE time I spent reading this post to figure out that the puzzle was Combination Microwave and Oven, so I'm right there with you

AlexJD said...

If it wasn't for Anonymous, I never would have gotten it.