A recent Wheel of Fortune contestant’s “tribute” to her late grandparents gave host Pat Sajak and hundreds of fans a dose of sweet nostalgia.
This week, a player named Taylor took a chance on the show, and during the meet-and-greet segment, she explained that she was there for her family.
When Sajak looked at his notecard ahead of speaking to Taylor, he noticed it simply said, “grandparents.” And Taylor explained why.
“I used to watch this show when I was a kid with my grandparents, my granny and my bumpa. They’re no longer with us,” she said. “But I’m here as a tribute to them.”
Pat Sajak smiled sentimentally and said many past contestants came on the show for the same reason.
“I hear that a lot, and it’s nice to hear it from you,” he said. “Thanks for being here.”
Following the episode, Wheel of Fortune’s social media correspondent Maggie Sajak posted a clip of the chat on Instagram. Along with it, she included a throwback picture of Taylor with her grandparents. In the caption, she asked others to share their favorite “memories watching Wheel ” with their families.
Vanna White Watched ‘Wheel of Fortune’ as a Young Adult and Dreamed of Being a Contestant
Vanna White was the first to comment, and she shared that she used to watch the show in the 70s, back before she was the star. She admitted that she wrote into the show asking to be a contestant. Obviously, that didn’t happen. But “it all worked out” anyway.
More comments flooded in, many similar to Taylor’s. Some were bittersweet and some were joyful. And they all proved that the long-running show has been a staple for thousands of families.
“As an adult, I would go over to my parents to watch Wheel with my mom,” one fan wrote. “Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I continued to watch with her until the day she died. Watch daily in her honor.”
“Watched every night with my mom. Even when she was in a long-term care facility she would call me almost every night to make sure I was watching,” added another. “She just passed a few months ago and I still wait for her to [call] most nights.”
“Love this! I would watch with my grandpa growing up as well,” captioned a fan. “Can’t wait to watch with my grandkids one day.”
Wheel of Fortune first debuted in 1975 with Chuck Woolery as the host. Pat Sajak took over in 1981, and Vanna White joined him one year later.