On This Day: Syndicated Version of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ with Pat Sajak and Vanna White Premiered in 1983

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Almost 40 years have passed since the syndicated version of Wheel of Fortune debuted. Pat Sajak and Vanna White have become household legends since. 38 years is no joke and while the set design and look of the show have changed over the years, the overall game has largely remained unchanged. There have been some great moments over the years and plenty more to come as the new season is about to premiere.

All the way back on September 19, 1983 (14 years before I was born) the show aired all over the country. Vanna White was in a white ensemble while Pat Sajak wore a suit and tie. His hair looks just as good then as it does now. It is wild to see those old photos. However, it is also really cool to see the show going for so many years.

Over the years, the show has stayed true to its roots. There have been changes though, and even recent ones. Of course, Vanna no longer turns the letters around. The board just lights up whenever a letter is correctly guessed. Other than that, there hasn’t been much else changed. That is, until last week.

Now, when the final spin alarm chimes, Sajak will not spin the wheel. Instead, it will just be up to the contestant in whatever order it ends up being in. This will save time during the game and it eliminates a weird formality that not even the Wheel of Fortune host liked that much. While some fans are going to wince at the change, it isn’t that big of an issue. Fans of the show are going to keep watching no matter what.

‘Wheel of Fortune’ All Through the Fall

With the new season of Wheel of Fortune, fans will have more of the regular show they love plus some. That’s right, Celebrity Wheel of Fortune is going to have a full season of its own. That means viewers are going to get twice as much Pat Sajak and Vanna White this Fall. Now that’s something to celebrate!

The season premiere is next week and is going to have some great contestants playing for some great charities. Cheryl Burke, Jason Alexander, and Michael “The Miz” Mizanin from WWE will participate. The debut is going to be a lot of fun and the Instagram page for the show shared a teaser. There is a long list of guests that will make their appearances on the show.

Hollywood stars, musicians, and athletes will all play the 38-year-old game. While the play is different from the original game, it is mostly the same. There is going to be a lot of money up for grabs that will go to wonderful charities. The grand prize for this special Wheel of Fortune season is $1 million. That is going to help a lot of people through different organizations all season.