Wheel of Fortune Prize Money Tied Up in Messy Divorce


Like most people seeking divorce advice in Pasadena, Scott Dole had certain assets he wanted to protect when he was breaking up with his wife, Carrie. Unlike most people, however, Dole is a big winner from the long-running game show, Wheel of Fortune. The Canada man's divorce is currently making headlines because his show winnings currently are at stake in his complicated divorce.

Back in March 2008, Carrie Dole filed for divorce in a Clark County Superior Court after months of marital problems. Nevertheless, the couple reunited and moved back in together. Scott, a part-time longshoreman and animal lover, was encouraged by Carrie to sign up for auditions when Wheel of Fortune was holding an open casting call in Portland in 2009.

"I'm good at the show, so she signed me up," Scott told a reporter at The Columbian.

Scott received a congratulations letter several weeks later that stated he would appear on Wheel of Fortune as a contestant during Pet Lovers Week. The Doles traveled to Culver City, CA, to film the show and that's when trouble in the marriage started up again. According to Scott Dole, the couple did not speak at all on the day of filming after days of arguing. Carrie and Scott did not speak to one another until after the show was over and he had won when Carrie went to congratulate him.

Carrie again filed for divorce a month later. Yet this time Carrie asked that the earnings from Wheel of Fortune be placed into a trust until the divorce was finalized. The money was placed in escrow at a local bank and has sat there ever since. Scott Dole claims that Carrie has no right to the winnings since the marriage was essentially over at the time of the game show.

Carrie claims she has no money to pay her bills and needs a portion of the winnings to make ends meet. In Canada, like in the United States, income earned during the marriage, whether it was on the rocks or not, is still community property. Yet legal experts say there could be loopholes in Canadian law which distinguishes prize money from income. It will be up to a judge to decide the fate of Scott's game show winnings when the divorce goes to trial in Vancouver on May 2nd.