Luck of the draw! Pat Sajak and Vanna White are the ultimate example of cohost chemistry — but their Wheel of Fortune destinies could have been very different.
“I didn’t recommend Vanna, and Vanna knows this,” Sajak told CBS Sunday Morning in 2020 while reflecting on White’s audition nearly four decades prior. “Not that she wasn’t lovely and wonderful and personable and all that. But she was the most nervous, by far, of any of them.”
Sajak initially tried out for the game show gig in 1980 and was made host one year later. In 1982, White was one of the last women in the running for the letter turning role.
However, creator Merv Griffin was confident that White was the right choice. “I did ask him [why he picked me],” the hostess told CBS Sunday Morning. “He said, ‘First of all, you and Pat make a great brother-sister team. I see you guys together. And you did turn the letters better than anyone else.’”
As their Wheel of Fortune careers continued, the twosome developed a strong bond both on and off screen. However, the pair’s relationship has always remained strictly professional — and platonic.
“People at home see the chemistry between Pat and me,” White told Closer Weekly in 2019. “We are like brother and sister, and I think that is what makes it work.”
Two years prior, Sajak gushed over his collaborative connection with the Vanna Speaks author during a talk at the Paley Center for Media in New York City. “I can’t imagine being up there with someone else,” he told the crowd at the time.
Though they seem like a match made in TV heaven, both Sajak and White have hinted that they won’t be gracing fans’ screens forever. The duo discussed their future on Wheel of Fortune in 2021 as the Daytime Emmy winner geared up to become the longest-serving game show host in history.
“We’re certainly closer to the end than the beginning,” he told Entertainment Tonight, predicting that their reign over the wheel could come to an end within the next 10 years.
White chimed in at the time, reflecting on her longtime partnership with the broadcaster. “We’ve been together for, like, 38 years and he’s like my brother,” she said. “He’s funny. I mean, we could finish each other’s sentences if we wanted to. We know each other that well.”
Scroll down to relive Sajak and White’s best friendship moments: