There's something undeniably comforting about classic American TV game shows — whether it's tuning into Jeopardy! or staying home from school to watch The Price Is Right and cheering along when an enthusiastic fan of the show crushes it on their spins, or when they get to bring that new car home. Of course, the familiar faces of the hosts on these shows are a huge part of their appeal, and for Wheel of Fortune fans, the show is Vanna White and Pat Sajak. But is one of them retiring anytime soon?
Is Vanna White retiring?
If you're an OG fan of the show, then you may remember when Vanna first joined Wheel's team back in 1980. Since then, she and Pat have become two of the longest-running duos in TV. It's kind of difficult to imagine someone else tapping the tiles or another dude in a suit talking with hopeful contestants gunning for a huge cash prize.
The show's creator, Merv Griffin, clearly felt that the pair were about as iconic a duo as one could find, and that they were a team "like Ken and Barbie". In a January 2021 interview with Access Hollywood, Vanna said that the idea of being on the show without Pat Sajak is unimaginable to her.
"I can't imagine doing the show without Pat," she said. Sajak added that he felt the same way and suggested that when one of them decided it was time to hang up their proverbial spurs, they would do so as a duo. "Yeah, we've talked about it, and we'll probably walk off into the sunset at the same time." White then quickly stated that it wouldn't be happening "anytime soon."
After hosting his monumental 7,000th episode of Wheel of Fortune in 2019, Pat stated that he would probably retire "in the single digits" of years from then. "I’d like to leave while the show’s still popular, and I’d like to leave before people ask me to leave. And I’d like to leave before people tune in and see me and go, ‘Ooh, what the hell happened to him?'" he told USA Today.
He also glowingly spoke about his working relationship with Vanna: "This woman and I have been together a very long time. It’s been a fabulous run, and we’ve got lots more in us, yes?"
"Yes, we do!" Vanna said.
How much does Pat Sajak make on 'Wheel of Fortune'? What's his net worth?
Sajak is currently earning a reported $15 million a year for his Wheel of Fortune gig, and has reportedly amassed a $70 million net worth. That figure is probably much higher considering how long he's been working on the show and the throngs of people who tune in daily to watch it.
What's probably a more staggering figure to think of is that Pat makes a reported $52,000 per episode and that apparently he'll sometimes record up to six episodes in a single day. That's nothing to scoff at.
Interestingly enough, Vanna actually didn't get her game-show TV start on Wheel of Fortune. She started as a contestant on The Price Is Right.
Vanna wasn't the OG host of Wheel either; that distinction belonged to Susan Stafford. However, Susan left in 1975, which opened the door for Vanna to come in. She started off as a substitute numbers-turner, but ultimately came on full-time — and the rest is TV history. Vanna reportedly gets around $10 million a year. In addition to her job earnings, she makes a considerable chunk of change off her yarn line, as she's an avid knitter.