"Let's play MAHJONG! These three contestants have magnificent prizes and have to win over $20,000. And now let's meet the host of Let's Play Mahjong, PAT SAJAK!"
Let's Play Mahjong is a 1979 unsold pilot hosted by weatherman and future Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak, announced by Kenny Williams, directed by Jerome Shaw, produced by Robert Noah for Merrill Heatter-Bob Quigley Productions, and it was taped for NBC on April 14, 1979 in Burbank and it was planned as one of the three shows to replace All-Star Secrets, the other two was Caught in the Act hosted by Jack Clark and Mindreaders hosted by Dick Martin. However, Mindreaders was chosen over Let's Play Mahjong!.
Three players have a chance to play Mahjong and to win over $20,000.
The main game is Mahjong. Three contestants, in the anti-clockwise direction, take a turn to draw a tile from the wall and then discarding a tile by throwing it into the center and, if desired, announcing out loud what the piece is. A winning hand consists of 14 tiles. Since three contestants always have 13 tiles in their hand they must win by either taking a piece from the wall that completes their 14 tile hand (winning from the wall) or claiming a discard from another player which completes a 14 tiles hand (winning by discard). The winning hand is made of four melds (a specific pattern of three pieces) and the eyes (a pair of identical pieces). Contestants continue this way until one player has a legal winning hand and calls out Mahjong while revealing their hand.
The bonus game is Fast Wall. It plays like Mahjong, except it speeds up for about 60 seconds before time runs out.
- This is one of the three pilots Sajak hosted while he was still a weatherman before he hosted Wheel of Fortune, the other was the Goodson-Todman pilot Puzzlers and a Ralph Edwards pilot of a Simon variant called Press Your Luck (unrelated to the more-familiar game with the Whammy), all in 1980.
- The theme music of the pilot is the same one used on To Say the Least.
- The pilot was made when Robert Noah, Merrill Heatter, and Bob Quigley took the idea to import the Chinese Mahjong game for $60,000 and bring it to make a TV version of the Mahjong game.
- The sounds from the pilot were recycled from the original 1974-76 version of High Rollers.