Wheel of Fortune hostess Vanna White has been part of the game show since 1983, so it’s hard to imagine it without her. Yet White never imagined she’d get the job since she thought she blew her audition.
Since the early ’80s, both White and Pat Sajak have hosted Wheel of Fortune. They’ve taped thousands of episodes together in their nearly four decades on the game show. However, in her mind, she never thought she’d be part of the hit show.
While speaking with the Television Academy Foundation in 2007, White opened up about her audition. She revealed that she was super nervous during it. Additionally, Sajak later told White he had his 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.
The way she tells it, McCarthy was “poised” and “perfect” compared to White’s 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.
‘Wheel of Fortune’ Host Vanna White Revealed Her Favorite Moments on the Game Show
In 2016, Vanna White spoke with Larry King about her Wheel of Fortune career. During the interview, she revealed some of her favorite moments of the long-running game show Wheel of Fortune is the longest-running game show on American television with more than 7,000 aired episodes. Therefore White has seen it all during the last 38 years.
While making an appearance on Larry King Now, King asked White a series of quick questions in a segment he called “If You Only Knew.” At one point, he asked her who was the craziest Wheel of Fortune contestant on the show. She responded, but also added her favorite overall moment on the show as well.
“One show, this girl won. And she literally picked Pat [Sajak] up and carried him around jumping up and down,” White amusingly recalled on Larry King Now.
As mentioned, she also shared her personal favorite moment on the game show. As King said, it brings tears to your eyes because of how much the moment means to some contestants’ lives.
“One of my favorite shows, a guy just won a brand new car, and he said, ‘I don’t have to take the bus anymore.’ That was special… You really do feel like you change people’s lives, and you do on our show,” White shared.