Known variously as Money Wheel, Big 6 Wheel and Wheel of Fortune, this familiar game is based on a popular carnival attraction that has its roots in the days of chariot warfare.
In the aftermath of battle, victorious soldiers often contested over the spoils of their fallen enemy. Anxious to avoid further bloodshed among their troops, commanders encouraged using games of chance to settle disputes. Those upended chariots strewn across the battlefield served this purpose nicely: A spear was thrust into the soil next to the wheel to serve as a reference point, and each contestant made his mark on the rim between two spokes. The wheel was given a good spin, and the soldier whose mark settled closest to the spear won the prize without a fight.
As swords were beat into plowshares, former soldiers brought their spinning game of chance to country festivals celebrating the harvest. One adaptation lead to the smaller horizontal wheels of Roulette, but the large vertical wheel remained a fixture of festivals because it could be easily seen by a crowd of people gathered in the fairway. That tradition has carried on to this day at many local carnivals and is even the centerpiece of a popular TV game show from America now shown all over the world.
Because of its popularity and easy-to-play premise, Money Wheel is probably the first game you'll see when walking into most casinos. It usually has a crowd pressing in from all sides, gasping and cheering as the wheel comes to a full stop. Part of the thrill is watching with anticipation as the wheel slows down and each outcome passes by more slowly than the last. Will it stop on this one? Or keep on to the next? Place your bets and join the fun!