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Vanna White Address Pat Sajak’s Retirement Ahead of Their Last Show: What She’s Said About Leaving

The game show icon has shared on multiple occasions why she decided to stay on TV after her co-host's departure


Vanna White, the woman whose smile has illuminated television screens for over 40 years, is more than just a letter-turner. For millions of viewers, she’s a cherished icon, a symbol of warmth and familiarity on the ever-popular game show Wheel of Fortune, and she’s not going anywhere. Here, learn everything she’s said about leaving Wheel of Fortune after co-host Pat Sajak’s retirement, and how she reflected on their decades together. 

Vanna White reflects on her decades-long co-host Pat Sajak

Ahead of Sajak’s last episode hosting Wheel of Fortune alongside White, she took to social media to reflect on their time together, choking up as she spoke.

“I cant believe tomorrow is our last show together,” White said on June 6. “Eight thousand episodes went by like that. When I first started, I was so green. … You made me who I am, you really did. ”

She continued, “As the years have gone by, we’ve grown up on television, but we have shared so much more behind the scenes. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve celebrated. What an incredible and unforgettable journey we’ve had., and iIve enjoyed every minute of it with you.” She carried on, holding back tears, “As this chapter of our lives is coming to an end, I know you will be close by. … I love you Pat.”

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What has Vanna White said about leaving ‘Wheel of Fortune’? 

White sat down with TV Insider ahead of her last-ever taping with Sajak in May 2024, addressing her two-year contract extension and her future on the show. 

“When I heard that Pat was retiring, I thought maybe I should retire too,” she confessed in the interview. “We’ll see toward the end of those two years how I feel.” She shared a similar sentiment in an October 2023 interview with PEOPLE shortly after Sajak’s retirement plan was made public, telling the outlet, “ It was a very hard decision for me to make, because it definitely crossed my mind.” 

For many, White and Sajak were an inseparable duo, their easy camaraderie a signature element of the show.

Who is Vanna White?

Known for her flowing red dresses and perfectly revealed letters, White has been a familiar presence for over four decades. In 1982, a chance encounter with Wheel of Fortune landed her the coveted role of letter-turner. While initially perceived as a glamorous assistant, White’s quiet strength, professionalism and warmth on screen quickly resonated with viewers. Over the years, she’s become an integral part of the show’s identity, a constant presence beside Sajak, and a beloved figure in American pop culture.

Vanna White addressed Pat Sajak’s retirement after the surprising announcement

Vanna White and Pat Sajak at the The Paley Center For Media Wheel Of Fortune event
Mike Pont/Getty Images

Longtime host Sajak, a television veteran known for his wit and dry humor, had been at the helm of the show since 1981. However, in 2023, after an impressive 41 seasons, Sajak  announced his retirement, writing on X (formerly Twitter), “Well, the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last. It’s been a wonderful ride.”

During her  interview with TV Insider, White reminisced about her fondest memories with Sajak. “We’ve watched our kids grow up together. We’ve thrown pies in each other’s faces. He’s so fun! I love him like a brother,” she revealed, highlighting the unique camaraderie they’ve shared.

Is Vanna White leaving ‘Wheel of Fortune’? 

White has been  quick to dispel any notions of an immediate departure. Shesigned a two-year contract after Sajak’s retirement announcement, with a substantial pay raise, ensuring her presence for the first seasons with new host Ryan Seacrest. “It’s a fun show that everybody of all ages enjoys. We give money away!” she added.

The future of Wheel of Fortune seems poised for a new chapter, and with it, perhaps a new era for the ever-intriguing Vanna White.

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