Vanna White’s Wheels (and tiles) will keep on turnin’…
The 64-year-old half-Puerto Rican television personality and game show letter-turner and her Wheel of Fortune co-star Pat Sajak have on to continue hosting the show through the 2023-2024 season.
As part of the deal, Sajak has added consulting producer to his responsibilities.
Jim Thornton, who will mark his 10th anniversary as Wheel of Fortune announcer, will get an expanded on-screen presence in the new season, which premieres September 13. At the open of each episode, he will be featured at a new podium on stage as he introduces Sajak and White.
Here are some other changes in store for the upcoming season:
- In the game show’s digital space, Maggie Sajak, Pat’s daughter, will be joining the show as Social Correspondent across all of Wheel of Fortune’s channels including: http://www.wheeloffortune.com, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.
- The set and music have been refreshed for the new season. The Wheel of Fortune theme song, “Changing Keys,” which will return this season with a modernized arrangement.
- Sajak will no longer do the “Final Spin” of the game. Instead, the contestant in control of the Wheel at the time will spin to determine the amount each consonant is worth during the speed up round.
- More money will be up for grabs in Season 39 with the removal of the “Free Play” wedge from the Wheel, which was replaced by an $850 wedge. Also, a $4,000 bonus is being added to contestants who solve all three puzzles in the Triple Toss Up Round, making the round worth $10,000. And finally, the minimum amount that can be won on the Bonus Wheel has been upped to $39,000, in honor of the show’s 39th season in syndication.
- Returning is the show’s annual “Secret Santa Holiday Giveaway.” This popular sweepstakes gives Wheel Watchers Club members the chance to win everything a contestant wins, up to the million-dollar grand prize.
“If you think about it, by doing the “final spin” I, as host, had an impact on the outcome of the game and that has always bothered me because it just didn’t feel right,” said Sajak of the change in play of the game. “With this change, only the contestants determine the outcome of the game and the host does not impose themself in any way.”
After Wheel of Fortune hostess Susan Stafford left the show in October 1982, White was selected as one of three substitute hostesses (along with Vicki McCarty and Summer Bartholomew) to co-host the show. On December 13, 1982, White became the regular hostess. And the rest is herstory.