Turns out that landing on 'bankrupt' isn't the only way to lose on Wheel of Fortune. In this economy, even winning the grand prize means someone can lose.
Promotion Consideration is a group that sets up prizes for the big TV game shows. According to Travel Weekly, a travel trade publication, Promotion Consideration is considering joining a list of companies that want to get some recompense from Joystar/TravelStar, a travel seller that is being forced by creditors to go into liquidation under Chapter 7.
Wheel But No Fortune
In August 2007, Joystar's sister company VacationCompare.com made a deal to be the host travel agency for Wheel's 25th anniversary season so that it could harness those 13 million sets of eyeballs that tune in nightly. Travel Weekly reports that Promotion Consideration says the prizes were never delivered, forcing the company to go out-of-pocket to make sure winning contestants got their trips.
TV game show prizes are not always directly funded out of advertising income, and rarely are they orchestrated by the producers themselves. As Wheel's predicament illustrates, fulfillment of those awards often goes through a web of connections and partnerships. In some cases of shows with extremely high payouts that are not often awarded, the jackpot may even be funded (at least in part) by an insurance company.