Wheel of Fortune Season 40: The Show’s Iconic Puzzle Board Gets a Surprising Update

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Find out how Wheel of Fortune Season 40 is incorporating NASA technology into the game show's set

wanna white stands in front of the wheel of fortune boardGerardo Mora/Getty Images

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As Wheel of Fortune heads into its 40th season, the program has become one of the longest-running game shows in TV history. Whether you’re an avid fan or simply like to tune in for a good word puzzle, there’s no doubt that the show has shaped American television and culture. And Wheel of Fortune isn’t just making history with its duration—it’s bringing innovation to its new season. As part of a series of show upgrades, NASA technology has been incorporated into the classic Wheel of Fortune puzzle board, giving it a whole new look and feel.

That’s right: Wheel of Fortune Season 40 is using NASA technology to bring audiences a modern take on the classic game show.

All about Wheel of Fortune Season 40

Season XL of Wheel of Fortune kicked off on Sept. 12 with co-host favorites Pat Sajak and Vanna White. To celebrate its 40th season, the show’s new executive producer, Bellamie Blackstone, has vowed that Wheel of Fortune will have “bigger prizes, [and] bigger puzzles. We are trying to give away the most money ever offered.” Now there’s even double the chance to win the coveted million dollar prize.

Given that chance to win new and bigger prizes, here’s how you can get on a game show like Wheel of Fortune for your opportunity to win big. And have you ever wondered what happens to all those dresses Vanna White wears on Wheel of Fortune?

What’s happening with the new puzzle board?

Wheel of Fortune Season 40 wouldn’t be complete without giving the set a new look and feel. Since the show started in 1975, the Wheel of Fortune puzzle board has been updated numerous times, but this season’s board uses the latest technology to help Vanna White reveal each clue.

“Before this, I would touch the edge of the letter,” White explained in an interview with Good Morning America. The puzzle board originally functioned through the use of individual monitors for each letter. That meant each individual screen had to be touched to reveal a letter. “Now it’s a flat-screen. There’s a laser, and I can run my hand over it,” White continued. “I don’t even have to touch it!”

The new puzzle board operates with one large screen, and letters of the puzzle are revealed by simply hovering a hand over each box. That magic happens thanks to LIDAR technology, aka laser technology, which has been used in the Mars Rover, self-driving cars, mapping and more. The introduction of this technology will allow Wheel of Fortune to “add graphics [and logos] in a new and fun way,” says Blackstone.

What do the fans have to say?

While this innovative technology is exciting to some audience members, others were not as pleased. In one tweet, a user beamed: “Love the new updated puzzle board since the start of Season 40 on Wheel of Fortune!” However, another tweeted that they were “struggling with the new puzzle board.” Regardless of the mixed reactions, the new board is more modern than ever.

Where can I watch Wheel of Fortune?

New episodes of Wheel of Fortune air weeknights at 7:30 p.m. E.T. The Wheel of Fortune website even has a handy tool where you can enter your zip code to see what channel the show is on in your area.

Want to stream Wheel of Fortune live? Platforms like Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV will do the trick. And if you’re feeling nostalgic for reruns, you can find them on Pluto TV.

Sources:

  • ABC News: “‘Wheel of Fortune’ brings NASA technology to Season 40”
  • TV Insider: “‘Wheel of Fortune’ New Puzzle Board Sparks Mixed Reaction from Fans”
  • Yahoo! News: “‘Wheel of Fortune’ Gets a New Look”

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Jessica Kaplan
Jessica Kaplan is the Assistant Editor of Trends, where she writes lifestyle articles for Readers Digest, Taste of Home, and Family Handyman. When she’s not writing, you can find her listening to a podcast or spending time with her dog.