‘Wheel of Fortune’: What Was Vanna White’s First Ever Puzzle?

by John Jamison
(Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Vanna White has presided over the “Wheel of Fortune” letter board for nearly 40 years. During that time, she’s revealed the answers to countless puzzles. It’s hard to comprehend the sheer number of letters she has unveiled on the show. But does she remember the first puzzle of her iconic career?

For the first half of her tenure on “Wheel of Fortune,” Vanna White was responsible for manually turning every letter. Around the turn of the century, though, the show went digital. And now the letters reveal themselves when she taps the panels. Keeping track of all these seems an impossible task. Even more so, considering Vanna struggled to recall her very first puzzle.

Vanna sat down for an interview with Paolo Presta in 2019. In the video, they spin a mini-wheel with personal questions for the longtime “Wheel of Fortune” co-host. The first question asked if she could remember the first puzzle she encountered on the show.

“No, but I remember the first letter I turned. It was a ‘T,'” Vanna answered. It was indeed. And the interviewer was kind enough to inform her that the “T” belonged to “General Hospital.” There are few shows that can rival the longevity of “Wheel of Fortune” and Vanna White. But ironically, “General Hospital” is one of them. It has been on for 58 seasons, and even in Vanna’s 1982 debut, it was relevant enough for a puzzle.

You can watch Vanna White make her big entrance on that very same episode below. The clip even includes her turning the “T.”

How Does the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Star Keep from Aging?

From the first letter she turned in 1982 to the present, Vanna White has always managed to present herself as nothing less than glamorous. At 64 years old, the “Wheel of Fortune” co-host hardly seems her age. How does she manage to keep looking so youthful?

Well, it may have something to do with her work life. She stays stress-free, in large part due to the great relationship she has with fellow co-host Pat Sajak. In a 2021 interview, she talked about how she and Sajak rarely fight, if ever.

She also credited her hair and makeup people on “Wheel of Fortune” with why she’s able to look so good all the time. Further, her wardrobe has always been eminently fashionable. Above all, she cites her active lifestyle and maintaining her figure as reasons for her graceful aging process.

Whatever the reasons, Vanna looks like she’s ready to keep going for another 40 years on the show.