Vanna White will compete on 'Wheel of Fortune' for 1st time in her 40 years on the show. Here's how she trained her replacement.
Maggie Sajak has been preparing to fill Vanna White's high-heeled shoes on Wheel of Fortune for years, so she's more than ready to take on the role of letter-turner Wednesday.
White herself is unavailable, because she's competing on the show for the very first time in her 40 years on the air. The Wheel of Fortune co-host will be facing off against Jeopardy! hosts Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings on a new, primetime edition of the beloved game show, Celebrity Wheel of Fortune: Ultimate Host Night.
A little change of perspective! https://t.co/P86Ok3xcRu
— Maggie Sajak (@MaggieSajak) May 7, 2023
On Monday, Maggie Sajak, the daughter of host Pat Sajak, shared a snapshot of herself practicing a graceful walk in front of the famous Wheel of Fortune letter board in her Instagram Story. She captioned it, "Warming up for Wednesday." Though there's the one major staffing change, Pat Sajak will host as usual.
Maggie, 28, has made many appearances on the iconic set over the years, beginning when she was 1, and her dad introduced her to the audience. She's currently the show's social correspondent, giving viewers a peek at what's happening behind-the-scenes.
Maggie had to fill in for White before, too, after her dad was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery to fix a blocked intestine in November 2019. Pat made it through the surgery and recovered just fine, but White stepped in to host while he was gone. So who better to fill in for White the week he was out than Pat's daughter?
Maggie spoke to Yahoo Entertainment in December 2021 about how she trained to fill in for White, whose job is not as easy as she makes it look. The TV legend even went over to her house the night before their first taping.
"She gave me a little tutorial, like on our refrigerator, of how to press the letters and how hard to press them and all of that," Maggie said, adding, "She was so gracious in teaching me, and you know, she had a big job to do that week too, filling in for my dad. So it was a new experience for both of us, and I'm really glad we were able to do that together."
The younger Sajak said that her dad was really proud of the job she and White had done taking over the show, and that it made a really difficult situation a little better.
"He was really glad that it was something that we could kind of keep it in the family because it was a crazy time," Maggie said. "I mean, you know, he had this emergency that happened and so there was a lot going on, so to kind of be able to simplify it and keep it all rolling. I think he was really thankful for that."
Celebrity Wheel of Fortune: Ultimate Host Night airs Wednesday, May 10 at 9 p.m. on ABC.
This story was originally published on Dec. 10, 2021 at 10:52 a.m. ET and has been updated with new information.