Wheel Of Fortune’s Vanna White Gets Real About Why She’s Stayed On The Show For Over 40 Years With ‘TV Husband’ Pat Sajak

Vanna White is nothing less than an American institution when it comes to Wheel of Fortune. As the co-host of the iconic game show, White has had a front seat to all of the terrible yet hilarious wrong guesses from contestants over the years. These days her job of making the letters appear on the puzzle board consists of just pushing a spot on an LED screen, but regardless, she’s made it her life’s work, and she recently celebrated her 40th anniversary with the show. As she hit the impressive career milestone, she spoke about what’s kept her there, alongside “TV husband” Pat Sajak.

The letter-turner on “America’s game” has witnessed some excruciating moments from clueless contestants and even taken a shot to the head via a burst of confetti, but Vanna White said in her four decades on Wheel of Fortune, she never considered leaving the show, telling People:  

I mean, I've been happy. Coming to work, it's a happy place and most of the people here have been here for a very long time. So this is really a family to me. We're all kind of connected and it's a happy place to come to work. And I even like Pat Sajak.

It’s funny that she threw in host Pat Sajak as an after-thought there, but I’d expect nothing less from a couple of colleagues who have spent more than half of their lives sharing a stage. Their friendship is obvious when seeing the two interact on episodes of Wheel of Fortune, and Vanna White acknowledged how close they are, saying: 

He's my TV husband. You know, we've been together … 40 years is a lot to be with somebody. We've been through a lot together.

Seriously, 40 years is longer than a lot of marriages, so to still be having fun together and enjoying the job is absolutely a reason for celebration. And a celebration was had, to be sure, as she shared photos to Instagram of her and Pat Sajak standing with a cake during filming on December 13 to mark the anniversary: 

The production was sure to document Vanna White’s big moment, after Wheel of Fortune fans got mad that Pat Sajak’s own 40th anniversary came and went without mention on the broadcast a year ago. At this stage in their careers, every year is worthy of note, as the couple is likely closer to the end of their tenures with the show than the beginning. Sajak seems to be mentally preparing for his retirement, saying in September that “the end is near.” 

It remains to be seen if and for how long Vanna White will stay when her co-host does hang it up, but given her reaction to filling in for Pat Sajak as host, it’s probably not likely that she’ll want to take over primary hosting duties. For the time being, though, you can still catch both of the co-hosts weeknights on Wheel of Fortune in syndication, so check your local listings. Also be sure to get a peek at what’s coming in the new year, with our 2023 TV schedule

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.