Best/Worst of S30

Time for me to give you my personal lists of the Best/Worst of Season 30 and this is usually gameplay-related.

BEST
1. All six grand prize wins (including Autumn’s $1M win on 5/30/13)
2. Tammy Mitzel (who responded to my Final S30 Stats posting) cleaning up on 2/25/13 and ended up w/ almost $82K+ cash and prizes (highest non-grand prize total of the season).
3. Despite losing the BR that had double Z’s (HIT THE BUZZER), Leanne McLaughlin (12/21/12) sets a new maingame record of $69,300.
4. A strong season finale episode — $68,715 given away in the maingame and Ryan Schwenk closing things out for $30K in the BR.
5. $74,772 is the highest given away in the maingame (12/28/12) before Cindy Kling went on to become the highest non-millionaire winner w/ $147K.
6. Zoee Rottenberg (4/19/13) may have lost the MDW, but she made a great comeback in the $6K Speed-Up to win the maingame w/ $31K. She then went on to win $40K after solving ROUGH SURFACE.
7. Jeremy Peck (11/5/12) easily solves his BR puzzle (ON THE PHONE) w/ a complete board for $45K.
8. Double car winners in Jerry Wichern (10/8/12) and Rossalene Cox (1/3/13).
9. On 5/13/13 in NYC, Jen and Adam’s gamble pays off in the Mystery Round to the tune of $20,250 cash and California (doesn’t include the $10K MW).
10. A miraculous $50K BR win by Laura Cassidy on 12/11/12.

WORST
1. All four $100K losses, two of them via TOTAL TRAINWRECK (PHOTO BOOTH and WORLDWIDE HIT)
2. Only 2 out of 20 BR wins on the NYC road trip from the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Maybe they should go back to Radio City Music Hall if the show plans on a road trip to NYC in the future.
3. Two women blow a 1/2 car prize (Ford Fiesta) AND their MDW chances (Nicole Lavigne on Oct. 4 blew the solve in the PP Round while Sharonda Rose painfully hit LAT in the Mystery Round on Nov. 5).
4. When it comes to a $6K Final Spin, you should call multiples if you’re behind. Unfortunately, Tara Dilley made the GRAVE MISTAKE of calling the frontloading W instead of the L’s (WILL YOU BE MY VALENTINE). She and Dwayne lost miserably to the Stranges $12,920-$10,300. Watch her blunder HERE.
5. If you have the MDW in your possession and call a correct letter while on a Mystery Wedge, don’t even think of risking it. Unfortunately, Rita Mercadante (April 16) risked $700, a 1/2 CAR tag, the WC and the MDW for a BANKRUPT. That was a very STUPID GAMBLE by her.
6. On April 23, Sam Ehinger (female) forfeits $16,330 and her WC (including that smart car)  in the Mystery Round. If that wasn’t bad enough, she gives up almost the same amount in the next round for saying L instead of the remaining H’s (GREEN GRASS AND HIGH TIDES FOREVER).
7. Valerie Medina made so many crucial mistakes on May 8 in NYC. First, she takes an unnecessary $2,550 MW gamble late in the round. Second, she calls the one dud vowel in the PP Round to cost her $3,550 cash and gift tag plus the Chevy Sonic (the puzzle was LET’S SPICE THINGS UP A BIT). Finally, she says MARLIN and MARLON THE MAGICIAN in the Speed-Up Round instead of MERLIN THE MAGICIAN. She deservedly gets the WORST CONTESTANT OF THE SEASON award from me.
8. Ugly gameplay to start the second week of the season (Sept.24; that includes a $27,100 BANKRUPT loss).
9.When it comes to the BR, always keep track of what letters of what you call. There were some bad losses this season, but the three I thought were the worst happened on Jan. 8 (JUST SAY THE WORD; Bill Murray said JUST SET THE FORK and JUST SPY THE DORK), Feb. 6 (LAUGHING IT UP; Alletta Cooper didn’t even get IT UP) and Valentine’s Day (VORACIOUS APPETITE; the Stranges thought it was some kind of ATHLETE when the category isn’t PERSON).
10. Nov. 13, 2002: SITTING IN THE HOT SEAT fiasco in the Speed-Up Round.

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FINAL S30 STATS

Total this Week: $399,695 (second-highest of season)
Total for the Season: $10,781,388
BR Win Record: 76-119 (.390) 
Total Car Wins: 41
-1/2 Car: 21
-BR Car: 20 
$100,000 Wins-Losses: 5-4
$1M Bonus Rounds: 9 (1 was the $1M win) 
Perfect BR Weeks: 0 
BR SHUTOUTS: 6
Prize Wedge Wins: 45
Gift Tag Wins: 54
Jackpot Wins: 12
Mystery Wedge Wins: 13 
Found Mystery $10K-Bankrupt: 35-30
Mystery $10K was on $700: 43
Mystery $10K was on $300: 38
Mystery was Flipped-Declined: 65-15
Wild Card Usages
Maingame: 9 (1 on $500, 1 on $900, 3 on $2500, 4 on $3500)
BR: 19
FP Vowels/Consonants/Solves: 117/56/0
5-Round Games: 41
6-Round Games: 4
$6,000 FINAL SPINS: 21
Gooseegg Victims: 41 
Red Winners: 73
Yellow Winners: 65
Blue Winners: 57
This Week’s Bankrupt Trash: $36,750
Total Bankrupt Trash for the Season: $995,5500*
Biggest Bankrupts: $27,100 (Sept. 24); $18,445* (May 30); $16,420 (Feb. 11)
Season-Worst Bankrupt Trashes for One Night: $40,100* (Sept. 24); $28,200* (Nov. 16); $22,750* (Jan. 21)
Highest-Winning Totals: $1,030,340 (May 30) $147,000 (Dec. 28), $137,250 (Nov. 21)
Lowest-Winning Totals: $8,200 (April 12), $9,100 (Mar. 20), $9,350 (May 31)
Highest Maingame Winnings: $74,772 (Dec. 28); $72,300 (Dec. 21); $68,715 (June 14)
Lowest Maingame Winnings: $15,350 (Oct. 4); $17,450 (Mar. 14), $17,964 (Nov. 6)
Season-High Week: $1,233,018 (Week #37: Celebrating 30!)
Season-Low Week: $151,104 (Week #6: Teachers Week)

WOF Recap: June 14, 2013 – SEASON 30 FINALE

EPISODE #5850: AMERICA’S GAME (WK. #5)

Repeat Clip (2005): Vanna puts on wax lips and Pat kisses her w/ those lips on

$1,000 Tossup: LIVING THINGS

G I _ N _
R E D _ O _ _ S

Ryan solves GIANT REDWOODS. Since Father’s Day is coming up this weekend, these three men are here to wrap up S30 (we don’t get to see the photos of their children, though)…

Ryan Schwenk: financial analyst for an airline w/ two children (4-yr.-old Grayson and 2-yr-old Garner) from Flower Mound, TX

Tony Sorrentino: senior compliance officer for a major financial institution w/ two kids (22-yr.-old Gabbi and 20-yr.-old Allie) whose favorite TV show that isn’t “Wheel” is “The Honeymooners” from Staten Island, NY

Dan Mullaney: solar energy sales advisor w/ a 9-yr.-old son Connor from Hudson, NH

$2,000 Tossup: ON THE MAP

_ _ _ _ _ D O
F _ O _ _ D _

Ryan’s two for two w/ ORLANDO, FLORIDA.

FEATURED PRIZE: $5K CreditCards.com shopping spree

Jackpot Round: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

He wastes a spin w/ the LAT. Second, Tony calls two N’s for $5K but then gives it right back to the MDW’s right-side BANKRUPT. Third, Dan selects four R’s for a $1,400 start, buys two E’s, and lights up a $350 H but then gets frozen by the sole dud vowel of O. Ryan next takes a $2,500 T, buys three I’s, and picks up the ½ CAR near $300 w/ three G’s, then he says an $800 S and two FP L’s before we see…

G R I L L I N G
_ _ R G E R S / I N
T H E / _ _ _ _ _ _ R _

He recalls GRILLING BURGERS IN THE BACKYARD for $5,550.

SOLE DUD: O (Dan)
SOLE LAT: Ryan
SOLE BANKRUPT: Tony
LAST UNCLAIMED JACKPOT OF SEASON: $12,500

Ryan: $8,550 + ½ CAR/Other men: $0 each

 

 

Mystery Round: BEFORE & AFTER

Tony immediately lands on the MW next to the MDW and calls four T’s before going for it…the biggie’s there! His next letters are a $350 H, five E’s, a FP I, two $450 S’s and the rest of the available vowels. But he then says a critical dud of R while on top dollar to leave $10,700 on the table. After that, Dan picks up the MDW and the HomeGoods gift tag w/ two K’s and N’s, respectively. Let’s see the board…

_ U I E T / O N / T H E
S E T
O _  / S T E A K
K N I _ E S

Instead of being QUIET ON THE SET OF STEAK KNIVES, he’s won $2K cash and GT.

SOLE DUD: R (Tony)

Ryan: $8,550 ½ CAR/Tony: NOTHING/Dan: $2K cash and GT + MDW

Bonus Puzzle Flashback (1998): THING

VMDI gave this woman…

S _ _ E
S I _ E

She didn’t get SHOE SIZE.

PRIZE PUZZLE Round: PHRASE

Dan loses control right away w/ the R. Second in line, Ryan collects $7K worth of T’s, buys two E’s and A’s, and gets a duplicate of the same ½ CAR w/ three N’s. After he finishes off the vowels (four I’s and two O’s), he keeps on going for a $700 G, two $900 M’s, and two $400 Y’s before attempting to solve w/ this setup…

G, M, and Y on $700, $900, and $400.

_ E Y O N _ / M Y
_ I _ _ E _ T
I M A G I N A T I O N

He’ll be saying “This is BEYOND MY WILDEST IMAGINATION”, because he’s won $10,800, the smart car (last ½ CAR win of the season), and a trip to the Outrigger Reef on the Beach in OAHU worth $6,035 for a total of $31,165 in that round alone!

SOLE DUD: R (Dan)

Ryan: $39,715 cash and prizes/Tony: GOOSEEGG ALERT/Dan: $2K cash and GT MDW

 

$3,000 Tossup: THING

_ I G N _ D
C _ N _ R _ _ T

Dan has nothing within the allotted time, but he goofs anyway w/ FRIGID CONCRETE.

_ I G N E D
C O N T R _ _ T

Tony knows about a SIGNED CONTRACT, so he avoids becoming the last gooseegg victim of the season.

Speed-Up: PEOPLE

I was so expecting Pat to give us top dollar to end the season…and we got it! After Tony puts up two C’s on top…

S _ C C _ R
_ _ _ S

…he’s incorrect w/ SOCCER PROS and SOCCER FANS, possibly costing him $12K. Dan next calls for two M’s…

S _ C C _ R
M _ M S

He had no chance to take the MDW to the BR on a small puzzle like this one, but he still wins $24K w/ SOCCER MOMS!

SOLE DUD: T (Tony)

FINAL SCORES
Ryan: $39,715 cash and prizes/Tony: $3K/Dan: $26K cash and GT

CUMULATIVE TOTAL: $68,715!
BANKRUPT TRASH: $5K

 

$100,000 Bonus Round

Let’s end this season w/ a bang, shall we? Ryan’s last spin of the night lands him on the A of GAME.

Category: THING
Construction workers use this all the time…

_ E _ _ _

_ _ _ _ _ N E R _

I like his chances after he calls CGHA…

H E A _ _
_ A C H _ N E R _

He won’t have to handle any HEAVY MACHINERY while on the job, so he’s the final BR winner of the season w/ the $30K! That gives him a grand total of $69,715 cash and prizes – great job, sir!

If only Dave Lossino from Monday’s show defeated the QU- beginning…

LAST $5K SPIN ID OF THE SEASON: SR0988269

 

 

I’ve gotta say, that was probably their BEST SEASON YET! Let’s review what happened…

-As of this season, $5K is offered to lucky WWC members almost every day. With the summer reruns starting next week, you can now win $10K if you have the SonyCard

-We got to look at many flashback clips and past bonus puzzles from the video vault.

-We got a chance to see a few “Ask Pat & Vanna” segments.

-We had our second-ever Secret Santa Sweepstakes sponsored by Sears.

-We spent four weeks at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in NYC, although many of the bonus puzzles were brutal.

-The Decades categories (70’s, 80’s, and 90’s) made their return.

-On Dec. 21, 2012, LeAnne McLaughlin broke the maingame winnings record w/ a total of $69,300 cash and trip to Puerto Rico

-A whopping 41 automobiles were won this season (21 via the ½ CAR plates, 20 in the BR). For some reason, we landed on a car envelope at least once almost every week.

-We got to see the on-screen timer for the BR.

-We had 76 BR wins this season (one beating the total of both S23 and S28), although there were six BR SHUTOUTS and four double-digit losing streaks (the last one hit an ALL-TIME WORST of 14 losses to end the NYC road trip and the season’s tapings).

-Finally, we were 6-4 when it comes to the grand prize envelopes — five $100,000 wins and the second-ever $1M win courtesy of Autumn Erhard who became the new all-time “Wheel” queen w/ $1,030,340. One of the $100K wins was by Cindy Kling (Dec. 28) and she became the biggest non-millionaire ever on the program.

It’s been an honor writing all these S30 recaps for you to enjoy. We hope S31 will do just as well. See you in the fall, Wheel Watchers!


MY EP. RATING: 9 out of 10

WOF Recap: June 13, 2013

EPISODE #5849: AMERICA’S GAME (WK. 5)

Repeat Clip (2004): Vanna’s “highlight your nightlife” blooper reel

Thursday’s Set: “Sightseeing”

$1,000 Tossup: PHRASE

S A F _ / _ _ D
_ _ U N _

Mark’s SAFE AND SOUND for now. The players on our penultimate episode of the season…

Mark D’Angelo: 5th grade teacher who once taught in Tanzania from Philadelphia

Caitlyn McClay: third generation “Wheel” fan from Arlington, VA

Chelsea Winn: grad student at Oregon State who’s getting her Master’s in public health from Portland, OR

$2,000 Tossup: PERSON

L _ W – _ _ _ D _ _ G
C I _ I _ _ _

Mark is a LAW-ABIDING CITIZEN, so he’s tripled up his money.

FEATURED TRIP: Aer Lingus tour of Ireland worth $5,500

Jackpot Round: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

First, Mark picks up the WC w/ a G, lights up a $2,500 N and buys the obvious I, but he then runs into the nearby BANKRUPT to lose the $2,750 remainder and the WC. Following a null cycle, Caitlyn is second in line w/ a single $700 T but then the sole dud vowel of A. Third, Chelsea says three top dollar  L’s, buys the rest of the vowels, and picks off two $600 D’s before we show you…

_ U L L I N G
D O U _ L E
D U T _

She’s PULLING DOUBLE DUTY for $7,950.

SOLE AIRED DUD: A (Caitlyn)
SOLE AIRED BANKRUPT: Mark
UNCLAIMED JACKPOT (airing-wise): $11,800

Caitlyn: $0/Chelsea: $7,950/Mark: $3,000

 

Mystery Round: BEFORE & AFTER

Caitlyn leads of w/ four N’s for a $2,200 start, buys two A’s and inserts the frontloading L while on the MW next to LAT. She takes the $1,950 plunge…and it’s the $10K! After her next buys of two I’s and E, she picks off a $500 V, a $900 Y, and the last vowel of O, but the BANKRUPT near $3,500 flushes away $12,600 (although Pat forgot to take away the $10K MW). Ouch. After that bad moment, Chelsea puts up the backloading $600 T but then squanders her turn w/ the B. Mark then puts up the last remaining consonant of a $450 G…

L I V E – I N
N A N N Y
G O A T

…and reads LIVE-IN NANNY GOAT for the house minimum.

SOLE DUD: B (Chelsea)
SOLE BANKRUPT: Caitlyn

Caitlyn: ZIP/Chelsea: $7,950/Mark: $4,000

Bonus Puzzle Flashback (2000): THING

MDHA was chosen by this lady…

_ A N D L E _ _ _ _

…but she didn’t light up this CANDLEWICK.

 

PRIZE PUZZLE Round : PLACES

Our current leader starts w/ the letters spelling TEAR ($400 R, E, two A’s and two $650 T’s in that order), picks up the ½ CAR near $300 w/ two N’s and buys the rest of the vowels (one I and two O’s). But after a $550 S is the other normal BANKRUPT to render the Ford Fiesta null and void and wipes out $2,750. Mark then goes for the solve…

E N _ _ A N T I N _
_ O R T S / O _ / _ A _ _

He’ll see the ENCHANTING PORTS OF CALLon the $5,500 Costa CARIBBEAN CRUISE.

SOLE BANKRUPT: Chelsea

Caitlyn: ZILCH/Chelsea: $7,950/Mark: $9,500 cash & cruise

 

$3,000 Tossup: FUN & GAMES (one-liner alert)

_ _ _ / D A _ C I _ G

Mark is incorrect w/ ICE DANCING (that’s what I would’ve said), so no Tossup sweep for him.

T _ P / D A _ C I N G

Caitlyn solves TAP DANCING to finally break through.

Round 4: PROPER NAMES

First for Caitlyn are two T’s but then the LAT. Chelsea secondly runs into the roadblock of R. After that, it’s all Mark — two $550 H’s, two E’s and O, two $400 S’s, $600 L, two A’s, and a $500 N.

T H E / H A T _ _ E L _ S
A N _ / _ _ _ O _ S

He remembers THE HATFIELDS AND MCCOYS for $2,150.

SOLE DUD: R (Chelsea)
SOLE LAT: Caitlyn

Caitlyn: $3K/Chelsea: $7,950/Mark: $11,650 cash & cruise

 

Round 5: ON THE MAP

Chelsea instantly BANKRUPTs next to $650; that’s likely her other one of the night. Second, Mark says T for trouble. Third, Caitlyn takes two $500 N’s and buys four I’s before we shift into Speed-Up Mode…

_ _ _ _ _ N _ _ I _
_ I _ _ I N I _

…and the Final Spin is set at $1,700. A dud of S and two R’s later…

_ _ _ _ _ N _ R I _
_ I R _ I N I _

Chelsea goofs w/ ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA. Here comes a V…

_ _ _ _ _ N _ R I _
V I R _ I N I _

Mark correctly locates ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA for $1,700.

SOLE DUD BEFORE FS: T (Mark)
SOLE DUD AFTER BELL: S (Caitlyn)
SOLE BANKRUPT: Chelsea
SOLE DQ: Chelsea’s goof

FINAL SCORES
Caitlyn: $3K/Chelsea: $7,950/Mark: $13,350 cash & cruise

CUMULATIVE TOTAL: $24,300
BANKRUPT TRASH (not including extras): $18,100

 

$100,000 Bonus Round

Will Mark be our 75th BR winner of the season? Let’s find out after he lands on the second A of AMERICA’S.

Category: WAYD?
Getting him started are these letters…

_ _ R _ _ N _
T _ E / R _ _ _

DGPO adds besides the obvious G…

_ O R _ _ N G
T _ E / R O O _

After wrongly WORKING THE ROOF, he’s WORKING THE ROOM for $30K and leaves w/ $43,350 cash and cruise.

$5K+ SPIN ID: HH7116267

MY EP. RATING: 6

Tomorrow’s season finale will be on the set of “Dad’s Week”.

WOF Recap: June 12, 2013

Last night, Tasha Trujillo committed a huge error in R2 costing her the $10K MW and the Chevy Sonic, but she somehow managed to win w/ a low score of $10,850 and got VERY LUCKY in the BR where she became the fifth (and likely final) $100K winner of the season. As a result, we have tied S23’s record of most grand prize wins in one season (6).

Now let’s see what damage Wednesday’s players can do…

EPISODE #5848: AMERICA’S GAME (WK. 5)

Encore Clip (2011 in N.O.): Pat and Vanna chow down on beignets

Wednesday’s Set: Shopping Spree

$1,000 Tossup: ON THE MAP

_ O N _ A _ _ / _ N D
W _ O M I N _

Vaia identifies the two states of MONTANA AND WYOMING. Let’s see where these players are from…

Vaia Kozanas: 4th Grade teacher at Glenwood Avenue ES who speaks and writes in fluent Greek from Wildwood Crest, NJ

Whitney McMurtrie: legal assistant in Newport Beach from Brea, CA (orig. from Ft. Lauderdale)

Rick Williams: account manager for a local beverage distributor & youth sports coach from Durham, NC

$2,000 Tossup: AROUND THE HOUSE

S T _ I N
R _ M _ _ _ R

Whitney gets a STAIN REMOVER.

FEATURED TRIP: American Heritage Tour (Washington D.C.) from Collette Vacations worth $6K

Jackpot Round: PHRASE (w/ a ? at the end)

All Whitney here — she calls up a $350 R, three T’s for the 1/2 CAR near $300, E, two A’s, three $400 H’s, and the other three vowels.

A R E / _ O U
T H I _ _ I _ _
_ H A T / I ‘ _
T H I _ _ I _ _ ?

She asks “ARE YOU THINKING WHAT I’M THINKING?” for a $1,800 PR. And she was being too conservative, because she left out at least those N’s.

UNCLAIMED JACKPOT: $6,250

Vaia: $1K/Whitney: $3,800 1/2 CAR/Rick: $0

——————–

Mystery Round: SAME LETTER

The first letters from Rick are a $600 N, a $650 G and four obvious I’s, followed by an $800 T, O and A vowel singles, two $3,500 L’s, and the other two vowels (two E’s and four U’s). But after he says the SL of three B’s at $550 apiece…

B U I L _ I N G
B E A U T I _ U L
B I _ _ _ O U _ E _

…he blows the last word w/ BUILDING BEAUTIFUL BOUQUETS, possibly costing him $9,450. Vaia next calls for two $650 D’s, a $900 F, and a dud of M via FP before BANKRUPTing on the MDW’s left side to lose $2,200. After Whitney LATs out…

B U I L D I N G
B E A U T I F U L
B I _ D _ O U _ E _

Rick successfully rebounds w/ BUILDING BEAUTIFUL BIRDHOUSES.

SOLE DUD: M (Vaia)
SOLE LAT: Whitney
SOLE BANKRUPT: Vaia
SOLE DQ: Rick’s blown solve

Vaia: $1K/Whitney: $3,800 1/2 CAR/Rick: $9,450

Bonus Puzzle Flashback (Oct. 14, 1992): PLACE
Mark’s combination was MVDA (although he mistakenly called for a fourth consonant in B)…

_ _ N E M A

…and he got CINEMA for an $18K gift certificate that he could’ve used to buy a choker.

———————-

PRIZE PUZZLE Round: LIVING THING

Still in third place, Vaia leads off w/ two $350 T’s, a $300 H, six E’s, two R’s for the other 1/2 CAR, and three A’s, but she then BANKRUPTs near $3,500 to toss aside $1,500 and her plate. Second, Whitney gives up her own plate to the other normal BANKRUPT. Third, Rick uncovers an L to take the Ford Fiesta out of play, two $700 N’s and a $350 Y before he sees…

A / _ A L _ / T R E E
_ _ A Y _ N _ / _ N
T H E / _ R E E _ E

He pockets another $2,250 and will see A PALM TREE SWAYING IN THE BREEZE on his Hotwire trip to the Belizean Dreams Resort in BELIZE worth $6,880.

BANKRUPTS: 2 (women)

(NOTE: The graphics people mistakenly took away $250 from Rick’s cash bank right after he made the solve.)

Vaia: $1K/Whitney: $3,800/Rick: $18,580 cash and trip

——————–

$3,000 Tossup: FUN & GAMES

_ U M P E R
_ _ _ S

Rick avoids getting hit by these BUMPER CARS to go over the $21K mark.

Round 4: THING

First for Rick are a single $500 N at the end of this answer and the BANKRUPT near $650. Second, Vaia runs into the roadblock of R. Third, Whitney says two $350 S’s, three $500 T’s, two A’s and the sole dud vowel of E before we move into Speed-Up Mode…

A / S T _ _ _ _
S _ T _ A T _ _ N

…and the three remaining consonants are worth $6K apiece (the audience didn’t cheer for it — boo, hiss). The next letter called is a C…

A / S T _ C _ _
S _ T _ A T _ _ N

…and Rick quickly gets out of A STICKY SITUATION to seal the deal!

DUDS (both before FS): R (Vaia), E (Whitney)
SOLE BANKRUPT: Rick

FINAL SCORES 
Vaia: $1K/Whitney: $3,800/Rick: $27,580 cash and Belize

CUMULATIVE TOTAL: $32,380
BANKRUPT TRASH (plates excluded): $4,200

——————–

$100,000 Bonus Round
Rick is all by himself, but he does take the N envelope of WIN.

Category: THING
This is all he gets to start…

_ _ _ _
_ L _ _

CBMU gives him the entire second word (that’s what I thought at the start)…

B _ _ _
C L U B 

…but also one letter at the top — he gets BOOK CLUB for the Ford Flex SE worth $32,100 (Sheldon the Dalmatian NOT included)! He drives outta here w/ $64,680 cash and prizes!

$5K+ SPIN ID: PD7157068

MY EP. RATING: 8

WOF Recap: June 11, 2013

EPISODE #5847: AMERICA’S GAME (WK. 5)

Repeat Clip (Oct. 23, 1989): Diane Landry’s $129,370 doesn’t fit at the top of her blue podium, but Pat sticks a red $1 to the left to make it official

Tuesday’s Set: “Celebrating 30!” (yep, that’s where Autumn became the second-ever millionaire)

$1,000 Tossup: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

I N T _ O D _ C I _ G
_ _ _ E L _

I’m not INTRODUCING MYSELF — it’s Caroline who will be doing so after getting on the board first…

Caroline Franklin: full-time medical biller and pet sitter from Ocoee, FL

Dusty McKeelan: assistant teacher at Rainbow Mountain Children’s School and actor from Weaverville, NC (his original last name was Keeble while his wife Lindsay previously used McClelland)

Tasha Trujillo: assistant manager for a large bank from Bermuda Dunes, CA

$2,000 Tossup: THINGS

P S _ C _ I C
P _ _ D I C T I O _ S

Caroline’s two for two w/ PSYCHIC PREDICTIONS.

FEATURED PRIZE: $5K from Yowza!!

Jackpot Round: SONG/ARTIST

She starts w/ two $400 N’s, but then LOSES A TURN just as quick. Second, Dusty picks up the yowza!! bonus w/ two B’s and uses his initial $1K to buy almost all of the available vowels. Next up are three $500 R’s, $3,200 worth of one T and three S’s, and the last vowel of O before he BANKRUPTs next to top dollar to forfeit $9,450 (including that $5K bonus). Moving on, Tasha selects two $400 G’s, P ($900) and L ($450) singles, and three Y’s to give her the WC. The board now…

G L O R _ / _ A Y S
B Y / B R U _ E
S P R I N G S T E E N

She solves “GLORY DAYS” BY BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN (one of my favorite songs) for $3,650.

SOLE LAT: Caroline
SOLE BANKRUPT: Dusty
UNCLAIMED JACKPOT: $10,250

Caroline: $3K/Dusty: $0/Tasha: $3,650 WC

——————–

Mystery Round: SAME LETTER

Dusty picks off the SL of three S’s right away for $1,500 and goes vowel buying for three E’s, two A’s, but his third purchase of O isn’t there (and it’s the only bad vowel of this puzzle). Second, Tasha picks up the 1/2 CAR near $900 w/ a D, buys and I and says two L’s while on the MW next to LAT. She puts $250 and both cardboard pieces at risk…$10K! She then gets the other half of the Chevy Sonic w/ a K and buys the last vowel of U. But after her next pick of a $700 W is a MAJOR DUD of N. Afterwards, Caroline FPs two $500 M’s…

S U M M E _
S I D E W A L K
S A L E

…and solves SUMMER SIDEWALK SALE. Tasha’s late blunder just cost her $26,195 cash and Sonic.

DUDS: O (Dusty), N (Tasha)

Caroline: $4K/Dusty: ZIP/Tasha: $3,650 WC

Bonus Puzzle Flashback (1993): THING

This man chose CDMA…

_ _ C _ E T
C _ A N _ E

…and he got the necessary POCKET CHANGE.

——————–

PRIZE PUZZLE Round: FOOD & DRINK

Tasha begins her road to redemption w/ a $350 T, two FP E’s,  four A’s, a $450 S, and two O’s, but the N lets her down again. Second, Caroline selects a $400 L but then gets her second LaT of the game. Third, Dusty says twin R’s for $900 but then the sole dud vowel of I. Tasha then takes triple M’s for $900 and we have…

_ _ A _ A M O L E
M A _ E / _ R O M
S _ R A T _ _

She’s won $1,200 plus a trip where she might taste some GUACAMOLE MADE FROM SCRATCH — the $6K caravan.com TOUR OF CENTRAL AMERICA.

DUDS: N (Tasha), I (Dusty)
SOLE LAT: Caroline

Caroline: $4K/Dusty: GOOSEEGG ALERT/Tasha: $10,850 cash and tour + WC

——————–

$3,000 Tossup: ON THE MAP

B _ R / H A R B O R
_ A I N _

Though he isn’t confident, Dusty finally gets off the schneid w/ BAR HARBOR, MAINE.

Speed-Up: THE 80’s

Consonants are worth $1,300 apiece. The M is said late by Caroline

_ L L / T H _
R I G H T / M _ _ _ S

…she doesn’t have “ALL THE RIGHT MOVES” like Tom Cruise did, but she’s won another $2,600.

SOLE DUD: N (Dusty)

FINAL SCORES
Caroline: $6,600/Dusty: $3K/Tasha: $10,850 cash and tour WC

CUMULATIVE TOTAL: $20,450
BANKRUPT TRASH: $9,450

——————–

$100,000 Bonus Round
Tasha also lands on an M, but this one’s from the word AMERICA’S.

Category: THING
I know this 16-letter answer already…

_ _ _ _ L E T E
_ _ E R _ _ _ L

MDCO and H are very good choices…

C O M _ L E T E
O _ E R H _ _ L

He bank account is getting a COMPLETE OVERHAUL to the tune of…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…THE BIG ONE — SHE’S THE FIFTH (and likely final) $100K WINNER THIS SEASON!!!!! ALSO, THIS IS THE FIRST-EVER INSTANCE OF BACK-TO-BACK GRAND PRIZE WINS IN THE SAME TAPING DAY!!! Her final total of the night is $110,850 cash and tour! Now that’s how you make up for a big blunder!

$5K+ SPIN ID: MG0508451

FINAL NOTES
-Jim used the line “We’re giving you a check made out to cash…” and Vanna didn’t come over to celebrate the big win w/ Tasha.
-The Bonus Wheel was THIS CLOSE to slipping past the $100K envelope just like what happened on May 30th w/ the $1M one.

VIDEO BONUS (courtesy of ACME Crimenet): $100K win #5 (in better quality)

MY EP. RATING: 8

WOF Recap: June 10, 2013

EPISODE #5846: AMERICA’S GAME (WK. 5)

Opening Clip (Oct. 14, 2008): The first-ever $1M win by Michelle Loewenstein (what took them so long to show that?!)

This season finale week begins on the set of “Pure Paradise”.

$1,000 Tossup: PHRASE

_ / P _ R _
O F / _ I S T _ R Y

Dave knows that the $1M win was A PART OF HISTORY. There’s a designated spinner among this panel…

Dave Losinno: IT auditor studying to be a CPA from Queens, NY

Gina Damis: local hospital worker from Holbrook, NY (the DS is her cousin Annmarie)

Valerie Gerrits: speech therapist from Olympia, WA

$2,000 Tossup: PEOPLE

_ E R O I C
_ I _ _ _ I G _ T _ R S

Valerie knows her HEROIC FIREFIGHTERS.

FEATURED TRIP: VIP experience at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco worth $6,700

Jackpot Round: FOOD & DRINK

She first wants an R while on Jackpot, but it’s not there. Dave secondly calls up three N’s for the HomeGoods gift tag, buys four A’s, lights up two $650 D’s, and purchases three O’s. Those are followed by three $450 C’s, a single I, and four T’s while on Jackpot

_ A C O N
_ _ T T _ C _ / A N D
T O _ A T O
_ A N D _ I C _

…he eats up a BACON, LETTUCE AND TOMATO SANDWICH for $14K cash and GT (including a $7,600 pot)!

SOLE DUD: R (Valerie)

Dave: $15K cash and GT/Gina: $0/Valerie: $2K

——————–

Mystery Round: THE 90’s

First from Dave’s mouth are trios of R’s ($400 each) and A’s but then the sole dud vowel of O. Second, Gina picks up the S.F. trip w/ three T’s. She follows up w/ a $550 H and some vowels (five E’s and two I’s) before we see…

_ E A _ _ / R E E _ E _
_ T A R _ / I _
T H E / _ A T R I _

She remembers that KEANU REEVES STARS IN “THE MATRIX” for $8,250 cash and trip.

SOLE DUD: O (Dave)

Dave: $15K cash and GT/Gina: $8,250 cash and S.F./Valerie: $2K

Bonus Puzzle Flashback (1998): PHRASE

CMPO gave this woman…

O _ T / _ N _
_ _ O _ T

…but she wasn’t OUT AND ABOUT.

——————–

PRIZE PUZZLE Round: SONG LYRICS

Gina strikes out right away w/ the S while on the 1/2 CAR near $900. Second, Valerie takes two $700 T’s and I’s, but she then repeats the same dud consonant. After that, Dave chooses two $300 N’s and a $900 B before he goes for the trip…

_ _ _ _ _ N ‘ T / I T
B _ / N I _ _

He solves “WOULDN’T IT BE NICE” (by The Beach Boys) for $1,500 and a $6,400 trip to the Renaissance ST. CROIX Carambola Beach Resort & Spa.

SOLE DUD: S (Gina)
SOLE DQ: Valerie’s repeat of said consonant

Dave: $22,900 cash and prizes/Gina: $8,250 cash and S.F./Valerie: $2K

——————–

$3,000 Tossup: SHOW BIZ

O R I G _ _ _ _
S C _ E E _ _ L _ Y

Gina gets ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY to move into five-figure territory.

Round 4: THING

After a null cycle, she leads off w/ a $400 S, two $800 N’s and the sole dud vowel of E. Second, Valerie says three $5K C’s, all of the available vowels and three $800 L’s before she sees…

L O _ I C A L
C O N C L U S I O N

The LOGICAL CONCLUSION is that she solves this puzzle for $16,400!

SOLE DUD: E (Gina)

Dave: $22,900 cash and prizes/Gina: $11,250 cash and S.F./Valerie: $18,400

Speed-Up: ON THE MAP

Consonants will be worth $1,400 each. Two D’s are lit up on top…

_ R _ N D / R _ _ _ D _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ N

…but Valerie flubs the $2,800 solve w/ GRAND RAPIDS FOUNTAIN at the buzzer. Dave puts up that M…

_ R _ N D / R _ _ _ D _
M _ _ _ _ _ _ N

…and locates GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN for $4,200 and the win!

SOLE DUD: T (Valerie)
SOLE DQ: Valerie’s blown solve

FINAL SCORES
Dave: $27,100 cash and prizes/Gina: $11,250 cash and S.F./Valerie: $18,400

CUMULATIVE TOTAL: $56,750
PENALTY SPACE FREE EPISODE!

Isn’t it great that everybody ends up w/ five figures?

——————–

$100,000 Bonus Round

Dave lands on the M of GAME.

Category: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
I hope he doesn’t get tripped up by the two letters that begin this one…

_ _ _ L T _ N _

PGCI fills in all but the first two blanks…

_ _ I L T I N G

The QU claims another victim — he can’t get QUILTING for the $30K. I wonder if either of the ladies knew that one?

$5K SPIN ID: VP9358810

MY EP. RATING: 7

Week 38 Stats

Total this Week: $262,556 
Total for the Season: $10,381,693
BR Win Record: 72-118 (.379) 
Total Car Wins: 39
-1/2 Car: 20
-BR Car: 19 
$100,000 Wins-Losses: 4-4
$1M Bonus Rounds: 9 (1 was the $1M win) 
Perfect BR Weeks: 0 
BR SHUTOUTS: 6
Prize Wedge Wins: 44
Gift Tag Wins: 52
Jackpot Wins: 11
Mystery Wedge Wins: 13 
Found Mystery $10K-Bankrupt: 32-30
Mystery $10K was on $700: 41
Mystery $10K was on $300: 37
Mystery was Flipped-Declined: 62-15
Wild Card Usages
Maingame: 9 (1 on $500, 1 on $900, 3 on $2500, 4 on $3500)
BR: 18
FP Vowels/Consonants/Solves: 115/53/0
5-Round Games: 39
6-Round Games: 4
$6,000 FINAL SPINS: 18
Gooseegg Victims: 41 
Red Winners: 71
Yellow Winners: 65
Blue Winners: 54 
This Week’s Bankrupt Trash: $25,800
Total Bankrupt Trash for the Season: $958,8000*
Biggest Bankrupts: $27,100 (Sept. 24); $18,445* (May 30); $16,420 (Feb. 11)
Season-Worst Bankrupt Trashes for One Night: $40,100* (Sept. 24); $28,200* (Nov. 16); $22,750* (Jan. 21)
Highest-Winning Totals: $1,030,340 (May 30) $147,000 (Dec. 28), $137,250 (Nov. 21)
Lowest-Winning Totals: $8,200 (April 12), $9,100 (Mar. 20), $9,350 (May 31)
Highest Maingame Winnings: $74,772 (Dec. 28); $72,300 (Dec. 21); $65,745 (May 10)
Lowest Maingame Winnings: $15,350 (Oct. 4); $17,450 (Mar. 14), $17,964 (Nov. 6)
Season-High Week: $1,233,018 (Week #37: Celebrating 30!)
Season-Low Week: $151,104 (Week #6: Teachers Week)

WOF Recap: June 7, 2013

EPISODE #5845: DAD’S WEEK

Intro Flashback Clip (March 13, 2006 during Spring Break Week): Vanna was late getting into position for the first Tossup of the night (the answer was LAKE HURON)

$1,000 Tossup: AROUND THE HOUSE

E _ E C _ _ _ N _ C
G A _ G E _ _

This is what you can buy w/ the SONY shopping spree, but John and David totally blow it w/ ELECTRONIC GAUGES and ELECTRONIC GARAGES, respectively.

E _ E C T R _ N _ C
G A D G E _ _

Tony gets ELECTRONIC GADGETS. Our last all-male panel of the week…

Tony Raio: national awards/trophies co. worker, weekend DJ emcee co. worker, singer and ventriloquist who has three children (Catherine, Bobby and Thomas) and two stepchildren (Chrissy and Michael) from Mahopac, NY

John Williams (obviously NOT the composer): call center sales executive who writes romance fiction novels and has two children (Trey and Xavier) from McKinney, TX

David Fox: accountant and tax preparer/bookkeeper w/ three kids (9-yr.-old Trevor, 7-yr.-old Jackson and 6-yr.-old Nathan) from Van Nuys, CA

$2,000 Tossup: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

_ A I N I _ G
_ _ _ E N T _ M

Tony’s GAINING MOMENTUM to triple his money.

Jackpot Round: THE 80’s

All Tony here — a $400 R, three E’s, two T’s for the 1/2 CAR near $900, a $700 H, five A’s, the other half of the smart car w/ an L, and two I’s…

I _ _ I A _ A
_ _ _ E _ / A _ _
T H E / L A _ T
_ R _ _ A _ E

He solves “INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE” for $1,850 and the smart car, giving him $16,180 that round — PR!

UNCLAIMED JACKPOT: $7,100

Tony: $19,180 cash and smart car/Other men: $0 each

——————–

Mystery Round: BEFORE & AFTER

Now getting a chance to spin, John FPs two A’s but then says N for no while on the All American Clothing gift tag. Second, David takes a $600 T, two $550 R’s and two I’s, but he then repeats the N. Third, Tony calls for twin $350 P’s and the last vowel of E via FP. We now have…

P A P E R
T R A I _
_ I _

He solves PAPER TRAIL MIX for the house minimum.

SOLE DUD: N (John)
SOLE DQ: David’s N repeat

Tony: $20,180 cash and smart car/Other men: $0 each

Bonus Puzzle Flashback (1993): THING
BCMO was the chosen combination by this man (the V mistakenly appeared in place of the B at first)…

B L _ E
_ _ _

…but he didn’t come up w/ a BLUE JAY.

——————–

PRIZE PUZZLE Round: SONG LYRICS

David instantly BANKRUPTs near $3,500. After that, it’s all Tony — $400 R, four $650 S’s, three E’s, five $500 N’s.

_ _ _ / _ R E / _ _
S _ N S _ _ N E
_ _ / _ N _ _
S _ N S _ _ N E

He solves “YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE, MY ONLY SUNSHINE” for $5,250 plus a $6,300 trip to Club Med Punta Cana in the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC.

INSTA-BANKRUPT: David

Tony: $31,730 cash and prizes/Other men: gooseegg alert

——————–

$3,000 Tossup: THING

A _ _ _ _ _ A _ H _ D
_ _ S E B _ _ L

David only knows the second word.

A U T _ _ R A _ H E D
_ A S E B A _ L

Tony gets an AUTOGRAPHED BASEBALL, so he’s up to $34,730!

Round 4: PERSON

But he strikes out immediately w/ the S. Second, John takes a $500 T and a single E, but he and David BANKRUPT near $650 back-to-back. After that, Tony picks things up from here — two $500 L’s, three O’s, and two $700 C’s.

_ / C _ _ _ / O _ _
T _ E / O L _ / _ L O C _

He’s not just A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK — he’s won another $2,150!

SOLE DUD: S (Tony)
BANKRUPTS: 2 (other men)

Tony: $36,880 cash and prizes/Other men: gooseegg alert

Round 5: PHRASE

John barely hangs onto $650 at the start, but he duds out anyway w/ the N. David secondly goes LaT (and Pat comes up between those men and says they can all go out for a drink). Third, Tony uncovers two $5K R’s, but it’s Speed-Up Mode time…

_ / _ _ R R _ _ / _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _

…and we don’t quite make it to the big one, but consonants are still worth $1,500 apiece. Tony can’t solve after calling two F’s. After John then says the obvious F…

_ / _ _ R R _ L / _ F
L _ _ _ _ _

The producers are gonna have A BARREL OF LAUGHS — he nails this puzzle to spoil Tony’s maingame sweep bid.

SOLE DUD (before Final Spin): N (John)
SOLE LAT: David

FINAL SCORES
John: $1,500/David: $1K GOOSEEGG/Tony: $36,880 cash and prizes

CUMULATIVE TOTAL: $39,380
BANKRUPT TRASH: $250

——————–

$100,000 Bonus Round
I saw a piece of confetti that dropped on the floor — could this mean really big money for Tony? After he puts it in one of his shirt pockets, he lands on the E of GAME.

Category: LIVING THING

Just this much to start…

_ _ _ N _
_ _ _

MCPO gives him…

_ O _ N _
C _ _

He says he can’t get the second word of YOUNG CUB, so he isn’t a double-car winner w/ the FJ Cruiser.

$5K+ SPIN ID: ES8763302

MY EP. RATING: 7

WOF Recap: June 6, 2013

EPISODE #5844: DAD’S WEEK

Repeat Clip (1999): Angela solved TEENY-WEENY for $950 and a trip to Paris

$1,000 Tossup: TITLE

_ _ _ _ _ T _ _ O D

Joel solves the NBC show “PARENTHOOD”. Now let’s hear about the children of each of these men…

Joel Levinson: he does online video content (sometimes goofy) and has one son named Mortimer from Culver City

Sean Cannell: safety coordinator for a grocery store’s maintenance department w/ two kids (4-yr-old Emily and 2-yr.-old Isaac) from Loveland, OH

John Paul Biondo: 5th Grade teacher at Marion G. Vetter ES w/ two kids (5-yr.-old Jenna and 3-yr.-old Julianna) from North Babylon, NY

$2,000 Tossup: FUN & GAMES

S _ O R _ _ N G
_ _ _ N T

I can understand why it wasn’t labeled EVENT — the producers didn’t want to give away the second word that easy. Anyway, Joel’s two for two w/ SPORTING EVENT.

Jackpot Round: PHRASE

Off he goes w/ two $300 T’s, three $550 H’s, three $900 R’s, a $350 N, and four E’s, followed by an S for the the 1/2 CAR near $900, seven A’s, but then the BANKRUPTs near $650 to lose the plate and $5,300. Second up, Sean says a $700 V and two O’s before running into LAT. Third, John Paul picks up the other 1/2 CAR w/ two $500 C’s but then gives it all right back to the other normal BANKRUPT. After Joel’s second turn ends quickly w/ the same BANKRUPT, Sean spins once for $1,800 worth of two B’s (just slipped past Jackpot)…

H A V E / T H E / C A R
B A C _ / A T / A
R E A S O N A B _ E
H O _ R

…and says “HAVE THE CAR BACK AT A REASONABLE HOUR” for $2,250.

SOLE LAT: Sean
BANKRUPTS: 3 (Joel 2x, John Paul)
UNCLAIMED JACKPOT: $9,700

Joel: $3K/Sean: $2,250/J.P.: $0

——————–

Mystery Round: BEFORE & AFTER

Sean gets off to a sloppy start w/ a dud of S while on top dollar. Second, John Paul BANKRUPTs on the MDW‘s left side. Third, Joel inserts two $550 T’s, a $350 R and a $900 L, but then buys a dud vowel of A. After Sean hits LAT for the second time tonight, John Paul gets that same MDW BANKRUPT; that’s his third one tonight. Joel tries again w/ a $300 N, two $900 H’s, and two G’s while on the MW next to the MDW before he takes a $4,200 gamble…but he also gets his third BANKRUPT of the game. Once Sean says another baddie of B, John Paul FPs two I’s, lights up a single $800 P but then W for worthless. Joel then picks up the Sony prize w/ the last consonant of K…

P _ K _ R
N I G H T –
L I G H T

…he solves POKER NIGHT-LIGHT for $5,500 cash and shopping spree.

DUDS: S (Sean), A (Joel), B (Sean), W (J.P.)
SOLE LAT: Sean
BANKRUPTS: 3 (J.P. 2x, Joel)

Joel: $8,500 cash & SS/Sean: $2,250/J.P.: BAD LUCK

Bonus Puzzle Flashback (1993): PHRASE
CDMA gave this man…

S _ _ C _
A N D
S _ A N

…and this solve of his was SPICK AND SPAN.

——————–

PRIZE PUZZLE Round: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

Two $550 N’s get John Paul started, followed by three $600 T’s, three E’s and two H’s for the 1/2 CAR near $900. Afterwards, he chooses two A’s, three $650 R’s, five O’s, two $700 S’s, and three $550 L’s. Let’s see the big board…

S T R O L L _ N _
_ A R E _ O O T
A L O N _ / T H E
S H O R E

…he’s won his first $8K and will be STROLLING BAREFOOT ALONG THE SHORE of OAHU during his stay at the Turtle Bay Resort courtesy of Hotwire worth $5,750 — PR.

Joel: $8,500 cash & SS/Sean: $2,250/J.P.: $13,750 cash & HI

——————–

$3,000 Tossup: CHARACTER

H _ _ _ _
_ I _ _ _ _ N

No need for you guys to say “DOH” — Joel sweeps the Tossups w/ HOMER SIMPSON and is up to $11,500.

Speed-Up: THING

It’s a $1,900 FS. A C is said late…

_ _ T R A
_ N C _ _ R A _ _ M _ N T

…but Sean flubs it w/ EXTRA INCREMENT. The E’s are then bought for free…

E _ T R A
E N C _ _ R A _ E M E N T

John Paul will need EXTRA ENCOURAGEMENT in the Bonus Round, because he’s sealed the deal w/ another $3,800.

(AIRED) DUDS: B (Sean), D (John P.)
SOLE DQ OF GAME: Sean’s missolve

FINAL SCORES
Joel: $11,500 cash and SS/Sean: $2,250/J.P.: $17,550 cash and HI

CUMULATIVE TOTAL: $31,300
BANKRUPT TRASH (excluding plates): $10,500

——————–

$100,000 Bonus Round
J.P.’s envelope will be the S of SPIN.

Category: THINGS
I don’t like his chances w/ the following…

_ _ _ _ _
_ L _ _ _ S

CMPA can only give him the first letters of each word…

P _ _ _ _
C L _ _ _ S

…and he’s way off w/ POWER CLOCKS — the $30K disappears into these PUFFY CLOUDS.

$5K+ SPIN ID #179: RK9229284

MY EP. RATING: 5 out of 10 (thanks to awful R2)