GMA: Wheel Of Fortune Behind The Scenes & Vanna White Dresses

Good Morning America: Game Show Confidential

Lara Spencer went behind the scenes at one of America’s most popular games for GMA’s Game Show Confidential. She tackled the behind the scenes secrets of Wheel of Fortune with hosts Pat Sajak and Vanna White.

GMA: Wheel of Fortune Behind The Scenes

In the first version of Wheel of Fortune, created by Merv Griffin, almost everything was different. The title was Shopper’s Bazaar, and it was hosted by Chuck Woolery and Susan Stafford.

GMA: Wheel Of Fortune Behind The Scenes & Vanna White Dresses

Lara Spencer went behind the scenes of Wheel of Fortune with Vanna White and Pat Sajak, learning about the wheel, the letter board, and Vanna’s closet. (s_bukley / Shutterstock.com)

Pat Sajak came along in 1981, with Vanna White taking over at the letter board the following year. Now the syndicated primetime version is celebrating 30 years of giveaways and games.

Good Morning America: Wheel Of Fortune Wheel Weight

The show has given out in excess of $200 million since the show began. Spencer learned there is just one wheel for the game, which must be packed up every time the show goes on the road.

Spencer got to practice spinning the wheel, which is heavier than people probably imagine. It weighs 2,400 pounds, and Lara needed a second spin to make it count.

The show’s contestants stand on adjustable platforms that are calibrated to their height, so they can always reach the wheel no matter how short or tall they may actually be.

Sajak said that he encourages contestants to look at the puzzle, not the wheel, when they are spinning.

GMA: Wheel Of Fortune Touch Screen & Vanna White Dresses

Over at the puzzle board, White explained that the touch screens came 15 years ago. Vanna showed Lara the bank of 52 touch screen TVs, demonstrating how she touches the side of each monitor to make a letter appear.

In one memorable episode, Sajak had laryngitis and traded places with White, taking over letter-turning duties while she hung out with the contestants.

As for Vanna White’s beloved wardrobe, Spencer wanted to raid the closet. White has worn nearly 6,000 different gowns on the show over the years, but never the same one twice. She said she does not get to keep any of the amazing outfits she wears on TV.

Good Morning America: Wheel of Fortune Schedule

Spencer credited the hosts, Sajak and White, with the show’s enduring popularity. Sajak said it works for them because they don’t take themselves seriously, but they do take the show and the game seriously, because it is important to the audience and contestants.

Did you know that White and Sajak only work 35 days each year? It’s hard not to love a schedule like that, even if you are taping five or six episodes each day.

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About the author

Pat Howard is a writer from St. Louis. He was born with a remote control in his hand, and is grateful to finally have a haven at Recapo for his pathological love of daytime television.

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