‘Wheel of Fortune’: Vanna White Delivered Motivational Message to Aspiring Stars with Tales of Dog Days

by Chris Haney

In 2019, Wheel of Fortune co-host Vanna White shared some encouraging words for fans to follow their dreams during an inspiring interview.

While speaking with A Spoonful of Paolo a couple years ago, White touched on the difficult days of her early career. Although the game show host has been on TV for almost four decades, she struggled to find work early on.

White opened up about moving to California to follow her dreams of making it in Hollywood. Like most starting out, the longtime Wheel of Fortune host came from humble beginnings. She moved to Los Angeles with $1,000 and shared a cheap apartment with a friend. In addition, she bought an inexpensive used car – a Ford Pinto. If that doesn’t symbolize humble beginnings we don’t know what does.

“I wanted to be anything in movies, on TV, anything, just whatever. Of course, I move here with $1,000 to my name. I rent an apartment with my girlfriend. First and last month’s rent was $700, and I bought a little white Pinto for $300. And I got a job,” White said of moving to L.A. to chase her dreams.

“I slept on the floor, and then I became Spring Air Mattresses spokesperson, how weird is that? So you know I just never gave up and I would tell anybody out there, go for your dream, follow your dream. Don’t give up, it can happen,” she added.

Vanna White Was Sure She Blew Her ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Audition

It’s almost impossible to think of Wheel of Fortune without Vanna White. As a staple of the game show since 1983, it’s hard to picture that her audition wouldn’t have gone well. However, the way White explains it, she thought her audition went terribly and never thought she’d get the job.

Since the early ’80s, both White and Pat Sajak have been at the helm of Wheel of Fortune. They’ve taped thousands of episodes together in their nearly forty years on the game show. Yet in her mind, she never thought she’d be part of the hit show.

In 2007, White spoke with the Television Academy Foundation where she revealed details about her audition. The longtime hostess shared that she was super nervous during the audition. Additionally, Sajak later told White he had his own doubts about her audition as well.

“I was probably the most nervous because I wanted this job so badly,” White said during her Television Academy Foundation interview. “I remember Pat Sajak said to me after I got it, he said ‘I did not think you were going to get it because you were so nervous.’ I couldn’t even talk, I could hardly walk. My mouth was quivering, my knees were shaking. I was just so nervous and I thought ‘Oh, I have blown this!’”

Interestingly the show boiled it down to two options. Obviously Vanna White was one of the possibilities. But Wheel of Fortune was also considering another woman named Vicky McCarthy who just so happened to be longtime friends with White.

White said that McCarthy was “poised” and “perfect” compared to her own audition. But on the day before Thanksgiving in 1982, she got the call. White earned the job, and as they say, the rest is history.