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“Wheel of Fortune” kicks off Hawaii Week Monday night. This is the first of two weeks of shows filmed at Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island.
A lot goes on behind the scenes to make the show look flawless.
“Some of our staff and crew will have been here for a month because where we are now is typically a putting green and so everything you see had to be assembled and constructed here,” said executive producer Harry Friedman.
They ship in about a million pounds of equipment, fly in almost 200 staff and crew from the mainland and hire more than 200 staff, crew and production assistants here in the islands.
This is Wheel of Fortune’s fifth time taping on location in Hawaii.
“It’s always been a huge ratings winner here which is why we love coming back and we always have great audiences,” said co-host Pat Sajak. “We have close to 1,000 people we can accommodate.”
Most of the fans are from the Big Island, eager to see a little Hollywood magic and to see the stars in person.
Being there in person for the taping is surreal. One thing I noticed is that the wheel actually looks smaller in person and it’s actually kind of hard to spin.
For those who get to spin it for real, it’s a chance to win big bucks and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“Wheel of Fortune” airs Mondays through Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on KHON2.