‘Wheel of Fortune’: Pat Sajak Detailed the Massive 100+ Person Operation to Set Up Show in Hawaii

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

“Wheel of Fortune” might look like just a show done by two people, Pat Sajak and Vanna White. Sajak corrects that assumption real quick.

Back in 2008, Sajak and White were interviewed by radio station LAVA while they were taping future shows on the island of Hawaii. The interviewer started asking about how the show gets put together.

“It is kind of funny when people think of the show, they think of us because that’s who they see on TV,” Sajak said, referring to himself and White. “But you know, when you come here, and you’ve wondered around, we’ve got more than 100 people working their tails off to make this thing work. It’s tough to do a show this size on a grassy knoll outside a hotel here in Hawaii.

“It’s tough to do that and they get it done all the time and it’s really, really amazing,” he said.

“Wheel of Fortune” has filmed episodes not only on the Big Island of Hawaii but on stage at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and other locations over its 40-plus-year run. It takes a crew like the show’s size to make sure the 4,000-plus-pound wheel is transferred from Los Angeles to other sites.

Yes, the same wheel used in Los Angeles is moved to other places. No, there’s no duplicate wheel around for road trips.

‘Wheel of Fortune’ Host Reveals Favorite Themed Week On Show

When the Merv Griffin-created game show has theme weeks, they all feel special to Sajak and White. Viewers, too, enjoy them as well.

But Sajak admits that those weeks featuring military members stand out. Sajak served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.

He admits that he’s got a lot of respect for people who serve in the Armed Forces. He told the United Service Organizations in 2014 that he’s quite proud of his military service, especially his time spent in Vietnam.

“On ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ my favorite weeks are those which feature military personnel,” Sajak said. “We’ve also had Military Families Week to honor those at home whose sacrifices are often overlooked.”

Sajak also revealed that in terms of ratings, “Wheel of Fortune” fans respond well to shows that include military members.

Vanna White Says Game Shows Can Be ‘Escape’ For Viewers

Vanna White had the opportunity to explain how game shows can be a form of escape for people watching at home.

White was a guest on Drew Barrymore’s show in January. She explained how “Wheel of Fortune” fans watch for more than just entertainment.

“It’s funny, but it’s true,” Barrymore said. “I’ve watched you my whole life, and game shows to me were extremely comforting. They were almost like medicine to me when I was growing up because I had such a kind of unorthodox life, they just made me feel a part of the conscious collective, and I loved watching them, and you were such a safe spot for me.”

White notes that “Wheel of Fortune” is perfect for the whole family to enjoy.

“You know, the thing about game shows, even today, decades later, it’s still a great time for your family to be together, you know, it’s an escape,” White said. “Right? There’s no drama. You see people win. It’s happy. It’s a good thing.”