NBC's 'The Wheel': How It Works and Details on the Prize Money at Stake

How does 'The Wheel' game show work on NBC? It's all about awarding contestants cash prizes, but celebrities are here to help them.

Chrissy Bobic - Author

Dec. 19 2022, Published 2:32 p.m. ET

'The Wheel'
Source: NBC

Most game shows with a spinning wheel require contestants to physically spin it. But on NBC's The Wheel, the contestants are part of the wheel, along with celebrity guests that help them. So, how does The Wheel work and what kind of prize is at stake?

The show is based on a UK reality game show of the same name. But now that it made the leap across the pond, so to speak, you can expect some A-list celebrities from the U.S.

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How does 'The Wheel' work on NBC?

Each episode of The Wheel features three contestants who are chosen at random to sit in a chair in the center of a stage, which is designed like a spinning wheel. Seven celebrities sit in chairs outside of the wheel. They are each determined to be experts in different fields, whether it's sports, history, or music. When a contestant is given a multiple choice question, they initiate the wheel to be spun to pick a celebrity to help them answer the question.

Michael McIntyre from 'The Wheel'
Source: NBC

Michael McIntyre hosts 'The Wheel' on NBC and BBC.'

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The celebrities are slowly spun around the contestant and a large arrow on the floor points at which one is chosen to help them answer a question. Even if the arrow lands on a celebrity whose expertise is not in the chosen category, they still have to help the contestant answer the question. If the answer is wrong, the contestant is removed from the game and another one takes their place.

The player left standing at the end of any given episode is awarded the progressive prize, which can reach as high as $100,000. In the UK version, which is expected to be the same for the U.S. version of The Wheel, there is a final round where all three contestants are put on the spot to see which one of them walks away with the prize.

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At the end of each episode, the celebrities are ranked by how many correct answers they've given in the episode. The contestant who is still in the game at this point chooses which celebrity they want to help them with a final question. They could win 50, 100, or 200 percent of the total prize, depending on how high or low-ranking the celebrity they choose is.

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If the celebrity helps them get the final question right, this contestant wins. If the player gets it wrong, the process moves to one of the other two eliminated players from the episode. But if all three contestants get their respective final questions wrong, they all leave with nothing.

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Who is the host of 'The Wheel'?

The UK and now U.S. version of The Wheel is hosted by British comedian Michael McIntyre. He was once a judge on Britain's Got Talent and he hosted Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, which ran for two seasons. He also hosts a Saturday night variety show on the BBC called Michael McIntyre's Big Show.

With another version of The Wheel also under his belt, it's safe to say Michael will be busy on TV for the foreseeable future.

Watch The Wheel on Mondays at 10 p.m. EST on NBC.

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