Guest Turns $1.75 Bet Into $366K After Hitting Jackpot on Las Vegas

Chisom Ndianefo
Close-up shot of Wheel of fortune
Unsplash | Jeffrey Clayton

The magic of the timeless game show Wheel of Fortune is that anyone may win large on it, even though very few of us will ever participate in an episode or even come close to winning. No matter how perfectly you have your consonants and vowels in place, a turn that lands on the "Bankrupt" square might end it all in a hurry. This game is true to its name because the rules depend equally on chance and knowledge.

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A Game Of Chance

Close-up shot of Wheel Of Fortune machine
other | Wheel of fortune/ Fox

Although gambling is a game of chance, people occasionally win big, like a visitor to a Las Vegas Strip hotel who ended the year on a high note by winning a sizable jackpot on Wednesday.

Hitting The Jackpot

The lucky winner reportedly hit the progressive jackpot for $366,599.50 while playing IGT's Wheel of Fortune Gold Spin Triple Red Hot 7s machine, according to The Venetian Resort Las Vegas. No further details were given because the winner opted to maintain their anonymity.

Not Exactly A Bed Of Roses

Most people believe that winning on a game show like Wheel of Fortune is a dream come true because you have to make an effort to acquire a large sum of money.

And you get to leave daydreaming about what you're going to do with it all, right? Not, I guess. Most people are unaware that awards, whether in the form of money, trips, or tangible goods like cars, are taxed like income by the beautiful IRS.

Full Tax Payment

This means that when victors rack up the rewards on a game show like Wheel of Fortune, they don't just walk away with their pockets filled with 1,000 dollars. They must pay taxes on those winnings as though they had worked a full year to get them, which results in them taking home considerably less money than they received.

Paying Significant Taxes After Big Win

When you win trips on Wheel of Fortune, the game show enables you to compare cheaper versions of the trips you win to lower your overall tax burden. You will still owe a substantial tax bill at the show's end if you have won significant sums of money or prizes.

2022 Ushered In Several Winners

The 2022 season of the program saw an unusual number of significant winners. Seven participants have already won more than $100,000 this season, which is the highest ever in a single season. Three of them won on consecutive nights in February.

Narrow Slip To Winning

Among the largest winners is Bree Yokouchi, an elementary school teacher from Portland, who won the third in a row to surpass the $100,000 mark on February 9, 2022, during the 39th season of the game show.

She selected four more consonants and a vowel to assist her in solving the puzzle once she advanced to the bonus round when she was given the letters R, S, T, L, and E. However, only the vowel she selected appeared in the final puzzle. Yokouchi won a trip to St. Lucia and a bonus prize worth an additional $121,638.

Highest Winner

Only three participants have been able to take home the $1 million prize in Wheel of Fortune's 14-year history, which is a testament to how challenging the game show has made it.

Autumn Erhard, a sales representative for animal pharmaceuticals, won the highest honor in May 2013, nearly five years after Michelle Loewenstein demonstrated that it was possible. Erhard had a stellar episode, even without the skill and good fortune necessary to win and keep the $1 million prize wedge.

While it may be a game that may involve both skill and luck, those two factors have rarely combined as they did for Autumn Erhard, who won $1,030,340.

Make Wise Decisions

Even if it seems straightforward and promising, it's necessary to consider applying for game shows. However, unless you're more interested in experiences than money, remember that getting selected for a show like Wheel of Fortune can have some negatives.

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