‘Wheel of Fortune’: Do Pat Sajak and Vanna White Come Up With the Puzzles?

by Will Shepard

Pat Sajak and Vanna White have been at the helm of Wheel of Fortune for almost four decades. So, their input on the show has to be massive, right?

Well, the short answer to that question is a resounding yes. The two hosts of the game show have an incredible crew that makes the show function. But their work cannot be understated. They are who viewers tune in for and keep coming back to see more of.

That being said, though, how much influence do they have over the puzzles on the show? This question is a little bit trickier to answer.

In an interview from the Great Falls Tribune, Harry Friedman explained how Wheel of Fortune operated behind the scenes. Friedman was the executive producer of the game show from 1999 to 2020. He talked about Sajak and White’s influence on the puzzles contestants solve.

Friedman said that even though the process is “very scientific,” the puzzles are everybody’s hard work. He said that everyone “on the staff” contributes to creating the puzzles. Friedman also said that it is a “group effort” to make.

So, perhaps the question is easier to answer than appears. While he didn’t provide a specific number of puzzles the two hosts come up with, it is certainly clear that they help.

The “Wheel of Fortune” Hosts Are Incredibly Important to the Show’s Success

Vanna White and Pat Sajak are good at their jobs, and there is no denying that. One TV host called the two the “Fred and Ginger of puzzles.”

There was once a time when the two star hosts had to switch their roles. So, Sajak flipped the letters, and White asked contestants to spin the wheel.

The Wheel of Fortune host had laryngitis at the time. Because of that, Sajak wasn’t able to perform his duties as the main host properly.

“I did her job one day,” Sajak said during a 2013 interview on Good Morning America. “It got so bad (his voice) I couldn’t get through the bonus round.”

This happened all the way back in 1996. The category contestants were working on was “thing.” The answer to the puzzle was “synonym.”

Even though there weren’t a lot of letters to solve, Sajak said that he was “exhausted” after the first three letter turns. He also mentioned that the first time the bell dinged for a correct letter, he was startled.

Vanna White was complimentary of his performance. While the two didn’t completely switch roles for the show because White pointed out that “he didn’t put my dress on.”