The game is played on a huge wheel dubbed "the Big Wheel", and is filled with various cent values in increments of fives from 5¢ all the way up to $1.00; and in this order (5¢, $1.00, 15¢, 80¢, 35¢, 60¢, 20¢, 40¢, 75¢, 55¢, 95¢, 50¢, 85¢, 30¢, 65¢, 10¢, 45¢, 70¢, 25¢, 90¢).
The contestants are lined up by their winnings (lowest to highest). The object of the game is to come as close to $1.00 as you can without going over. Anything over $1.00 loses the game. Each player will take up to two spins of the wheel; the wheel must go all the way around at least one time or the contestant in control would get booed and must do it again. After the first spin, the spinner can choose to either stay with what he/she landed on or spin again; on the second spin, whatever the contestant hits will be added to the first score, and (as previously mentioned) if he/she went over $1.00, that contestant is eliminated from the game; otherwise that player stands under the scoreboard and wait out.
When all three contestants have taken their spins, the contestant closest to $1.00 wins the game and goes into the Showcase round. In the event that the first two contestants go over, the last contestant automatically advances to the Showcase, but gets only one spin to see if they can get $1.00.
If the game ended in a tie, the tied contestants played a Spin-Off game where each player gets only one spin, and the highest number wins. If any of the tied contestants gets $1.00 in their Spin-Off spin, they still get a $1,000 cash bonus and a bonus spin (see below).
While the wheel can be both spun upwards and downwards, only downward spins count.
Throughout the series, there was a bonus for getting $1.00 exactly (either by hitting the dollar space on the first spin or by making a dollar in two spins).
When the wheel first premiered, the prize for getting $1.00 was a cash bonus of $1,000. Since 1978, hitting $1.00 not only won the $1,000 cash bonus, but also a bonus spin. Before starting a bonus spin, the wheel gets set to 5 cents. In the Bonus Spin should the wheel land on a green bonus space (either 5¢ or 15¢), the contestant won an additional $5,000 for a total of $6,000; but if he/she hit the red bonus space ($1.00) in the bonus spin, the winning contestant won an additional $10,000 for a total of $11,000.
On October 6, 1998, two contestants won $11,000 in the same Showcase Showdown. The exact same thing happened again on February 11, 2009 when two contestants landed on the Green sections of the Wheel on an episode with Drew Carey.
In Drew's second season as host, the cash bonuses were raised to $10,000 for a green bonus space (for a total of $11,000) and $25,000 for the red bonus space (for a total of $26,000).
In the bonus spin, the contestant must get the wheel all the way around, or the spin is void and they do not get another spin. If a contestant hits $1.00 in their Spin-Off spin, they still get their $1,000 cash bonus and bonus spin. If the tie happens to be between multiple players who scored $1.00, each player's bonus spin also counts as their spin-off. This is disadvantageous for the contestants, since two of the three prize-awarding spaces (5¢ and 15¢) also happen to be two of the three worst tie-breaking spaces. Contestants who participate in bonus spin-offs and who don't get the wheel all the way around are allowed to spin again, but without the addition of any more bonus money. If the spin-off contestants tie in terms of the prize-awarding spaces, another spin-off is played but without any bonus money at stake.
Bob Barker's TenureEdit
Drew Carey's TenureEdit
YouTube Videos (Bob Barker's Tenure)Edit
2 $11,000 winners in the same Showcase Showdown
$11,000 winner from season 34
Another $11,000 winner from season 34
$11,000 won from season 35
$11,000 again from season 35
$11,000 yet again from season 35