‘Wheel of Fortune’: Vanna White Shares How She Trained Maggie Sajak for Role

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by TM/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Wheel of Fortune fans will remember Pat Sajak’s health scare from 2019 when he had to have surgery to repair a blocked intestine. None other than Vanna White and Sajak’s daughter Maggie stepped up to make sure the show continued.

It was like moving up in the line of succession. Sajak was out so Vanna stepped into the hosting role. She talked to the contestants and showed off the skills she has when the cards are in her hands. Then, Maggie took White’s usual role as the letter-turner. It was a great way to fix the situation.

The show was able to succeed and a large part of that has to do with White training Maggie on the latter turning. It isn’t as easy as the longtime star of Wheel of Fortune makes it look. There is a little finesse to it.

So, the night before the duo was expected to go on TV for the first time sans Pat, White made a trip to Maggie’s to show her how things are done.

“She gave me a little tutorial,” Maggie said. “Like on our refrigerator, of how to press the letters and how hard to press them and all of that. She was so gracious in teaching me, and you know, she had a big job to do that week too, filling in for my dad. So it was a new experience for both of us, and I’m really glad we were able to do that together.”

Pat Sajak Proud of Job Vanna and Maggie Did

When he saw the episodes, Pat was proud of his daughter and longtime cohost. Vanna stepped up in a big role and Maggie had never really been on TV before. The young Sajak did grow up on the set of the show, though. So, she wasn’t in an unfamiliar place.

“He was really glad that it was something that we could kind of keep it in the family because it was a crazy time,” Maggie said. “I mean, you know, he had this emergency that happened and so there was a lot going on, so to kind of be able to simplify it and keep it all rolling. I think he was really thankful for that.”

Wheel of Fortune is a family tradition around the country and to make it that on the show itself is what makes fans love it even after almost 40 years.

Maggie’s First Time on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

While 2019 was the first time Maggie had to really perform on Wheel of Fortune she did have a couple of appearances on stage before then. Back when she was a baby, her dad brought her out on stage to show her off to the world. That was the first time fans saw her.

Later on, she and her brother made an appearance on the show in the close. Usually Pat cracks a joke or Vanna does something fun. However, when Maggie was 4 she did the close. She pretended to be Vanna while her brother was Pat. Real diehard fans might remember that one.