‘Wheel of Fortune’ Star Pat Sajak Explained Why Show Doesn’t Go Too High-Tech: ‘The Appeal is Personal’

by Keeli Parkey

“Wheel of Fortune” has been entertaining audiences and challenging us with puzzles for almost 40 years now. While the show had made some changes over those decades, it has kept following the formula that works for it.

According to what its hosts once said, fans shouldn’t expect the game show to change much in terms of technology. In talking with The Las Vegas Sun in July 2009, “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak said the fact that the game show has been consistently so similar for so long keeps fans coming back year after year for spin after spin.

“I think there is something to that, knowing what you’re going to get when you tune in. Let’s face it, we’re not the highest-tech show out there,” Sajak said during the interview.

He also said he is aware that the show could modernize its technology. However, that would not benefit the show. Fans, according to Sajak, like that the show still has that human feel to it.

“We could change things up, get rid of the ‘clunk-clunk-clunk’ of the wheel,” Pat Sajak also told the publication. “We don’t actually need Vanna to turn the letters, you know? You do walk a tightrope in trying to be contemporary but keep the things that have worked over the years. Anecdotally, I’ve heard that a lot of the appeal is personal.”

Vanna White Agrees with Sajak on ‘Reassuring’ Quality of ‘Wheel of Fortune

Vanna White, the other host of “Wheel of Fortune,” also talked about why fans have continued to tune in for decades. Again, it is consistency that is a part of the show’s appeal.

“People just like knowing we’re there at the same time every night,” White told The Last Vegan Sun. “It’s something you can plan for. Even if you’re not watching every single night, it’s reassuring we’re there … it’s reassuring to me, at least, after all these years (laughs).”

The 2009 article also quotes fans of the show who shared the reasons “Wheel of Fortune” had appealed to them for so many years. One fan, Chicago resident Elizabeth Schaller, said she liked that the show continued to be appropriate for all ages to watch. And, she liked that it was something they could all do together.

“As you get older, you can watch it with your grandkids, who get a kick out of it,” Schaller told the publication. “It’s funny. It’s like playing a regular game with your family.” 

Schaller isn’t alone in sharing details about watching “Wheel of Fortune” with one’s family. Chances are if you spent much time at your grandparents’ home as a child, you watched your fair share of episodes of the game show. And, lucky for you if you did.

Also, chances are if you’re one of those people who watched “Wheel of Fortune” with your grandparents, you are probably still watching the show today.