Is Vanna White keeping her job on Wheel Of Fortune? That’s the question everyone’s been asking since Pat Sajak left the game show and it was announced that Ryan Seacrest is replacing him as host. Vanna, 66, recently was unable to film the five “Teachers Week” episodes because she contacted COVID-19, so she was replaced by Bridgette Donald-Blue. However, Vanna returned to the show last week, according to the Wheel of Fortune Reddit page. Fans of the show said that Vanna taped three weeks worth of episodes after she recovered from COVID. HollywoodLife has reached out to a rep for Wheel of Fortune for comment.
Vanna’s bout with the coronavirus marked only the fourth time that she’s been absent from Wheel of Fortune since she began her job as the letter turner in 1982. In 1986, she took time off following the death of her boyfriend, and in 1991 she spent two weeks away for her honeymoon and she was also home sick with a cold. HL already confirmed through an independent source that Vanna missed a day of taping “Teachers Week,” and those five episodes will air in the fall.
Following Pat’s exit from the series, Vanna is still working out her contract with Wheel Of Fortune for the next season. In July, she reportedly reached a partial deal to keep her job on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, according to TMZ. But Sony apparently wouldn’t oblige to Vanna’s request to make 50% of what Pat’s salary was for the syndicated Wheel show, so those negations for season 41 (which premieres September 11) are still going on.
Pat was reportedly making $400K per episode, or around $15 million per year. Vanna, who has had the same salary for the past 18 years, reportedly “settled” for a contract that will pay her $100K per episode. “After 41 years as a model employee and more the face of that show than him [Pat], asking for 50% of what he makes seems like a no-brainer,” an insider told TMZ at the end of June.
While Vanna’s future with the show is still being sorted out, Pat will be replaced by Ryan for the 2024/2025 season. After Pat announced his departure in June, Vanna opened up about how much she’ll miss him on set. “When we started Wheel Of Fortune who could have imagined we’d still be at it 41 years later?” Vanna tweeted. “I couldn’t have been happier to have shared the stage with you for all these years with one more to come. Cheers to you, Pat Sajak.”