I haven’t watched Wheel of Fortune in years and I think I’m missing something.

I turned it on while making dinner (Alton Brown’s weirdly tasty Sherried Sardine Toasts) and every one of the three contestants was vowel-crazy. As soon as they had some money, they started buying  vowels like crazy.

Was it always like this? I thought buying a vowel was like a hint–you didn’t use it until you had to. And if you have to get a hint on your second turn, why are you on Wheel of Fortune? 

Perhaps studies in game show strategy have revealed higher outcomes when you buy vowels early on? Perhaps someone once bought all the vowels and then won more money than anyone ever had? Perhaps the show found viewers were more tuned in when contestants bought a lot of vowels? Anyone know?

I don’t, but I think it’s the wimpy way to play.

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