Vanna White Tears Up During Emotional Moment With Sajak

Vanna White paid a heartfelt tribute to her longtime colleague Pat Sajak ahead of his final episode of “Wheel of Fortune,” set to air Friday. After more than four decades at the helm of the popular game show, Sajak’s departure marks the end of an era.

White, 67, expressed her emotions in a YouTube clip released Thursday. “I can’t believe that tomorrow is our last show together,” she said. “I don’t know how to put into words what these past 41 years have meant to me, but I’m going to try.”

The tribute included a montage of the duo’s work on the show, spanning around 8,000 episodes since White joined in 1982, a year after Sajak. Reflecting on her early days, White said, “When I first started, I was so green. You made me so comfortable and made me so confident, Pat – you made me who I am, you really did.”

White highlighted the deep personal bond they share, noting their off-camera friendship that has spanned decades. “As the years have gone by, we’ve grown up on television, but we’ve also shared so much more behind the scenes,” she said. “And as much fun as we had on camera, those memories, milestones, and life events we shared with our families outside the studio are my favorite.”

The video montage showcased moments with their families, emphasizing the personal connection between them. White has two children, Nikko, 29, and Giovanna, 26, with ex-husband George Santo Pietro. Sajak has two children, Patrick, 33, and Maggie, 29, with wife Lesly Brown.

“We’ve watched our children grow up together, traveled all over the world, and eaten hundreds of meals together,” White reminisced. “We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve celebrated. Oh, gosh – what an incredible and unforgettable journey we’ve had. And I’ve enjoyed every minute of it with you.”

White’s tribute concluded with a touching note: “As this chapter of our lives is coming to an end, I know you’ll still be close by. You’re like a brother to me, and I consider you a true lifelong friend, who I will always adore. I love you, Pat.” The video ended with White blowing a kiss and hugging Sajak.

Sajak announced his departure from the show last June, tweeting, “Well, the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last. It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all. (If nothing else, it’ll keep the clickbait sites busy!)”

“Wheel of Fortune” acknowledged Sajak’s contribution in a tweet: “Thank you to the best host in the biz. Wheel of Fortune would not be what it is today without you, Pat. Looking forward to Season 41 being better than ever!”

Sajak has hosted 7,942 episodes of the nighttime edition of the series from 1983 to 2024. He began as the host of the daytime series in 1981 before leaving in 1989 to host his own late-night show. The daytime edition was canceled in 1991. Over his career, Sajak has won three Daytime Emmys and received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 for his work on the show.

White, a former Miss Georgia USA contestant in 1978, has had minor acting roles and made appearances as herself in various films and TV shows. She will continue her duties on “Wheel of Fortune” at least through the 2025-2026 season after signing a contract extension last fall. Ryan Seacrest is set to replace Sajak as the host.


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