Why Vanna White Didn’t Want to Retire From ‘Wheel’ With Pat Sajak

Why Vanna White Didn’t Want to Retire From ‘Wheel’ With Pat Sajak

Vanna White is not ready to put down her letters just yet. The 66-year-old TV personality is staying with Wheel of Fortune for at least two more years, even after longtime host Pat Sajak retires in 2024. 

“We call ourselves Ken and Barbie,” White said in an interview with Good Morning America on Friday. “We’re not quite that today, but Ken and Barbie go together and always have.”

But this Barbie isn’t following Ken into retirement. She’ll be joining Ryan Seacrest when he replaces 77-year-old Sajak as host. 

“When Pat told me he was going to retire, it was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m not sure that I’m ready to retire,'” White recalled. “I thought about it and thought about it, and I just wasn’t ready to retire.”

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Sajak publicly announced his retirement plans in June. At the time, it was reported that White went into contract negotiations after not having received a raise in the last 18 years on the show while Sajak was making five times more than her.

In September, it was announced that she had extended her contract through the 2025-2026 TV season. As for why she chose to stick with the show, White tells GMA, “Because I’m not that tired and I love what I do… I genuinely do care about our contestants, and my favorite show is when they all win something big.”

Throughout her 41 years on the show, White says she’s worn nearly 8,000 gowns and has grown to know “everything” about Sajak. 

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“How do you describe being with someone for 41 years that you love and adore?” she mused. “I know everything about him, when he walks in, when he walks up the stairs, if he’s in a good mood or a bad mood.”

Back in September, Seacrest opened up to ET about getting the chance to work with White. 

“I’m so excited! She’s beloved by this nation, she is just such an important part of the show. She has been for so many years,” Seacrest marveled. “I’m honored to be on stage with her soon.” 


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