Vanna White’s “Wheel of Fortune” future revealed after months of tense negotiations

Iconic game show Wheel of Fortune is getting quite a shakeup next season: longtime host Pat Sajak will be retiring after 41 years, and Ryan Seacrest will be stepping in.

For months, the question on many fans’ mind has been whether co-host Vanna White will still be on the show after Sajack departs. With her contract expiring, her future was uncertain.

But now, the question has finally been answered — after one major change to White’s contract.

Vanna White: contract negotiations

Vanna White, 66, is just as much a fixture of Wheel of Fortune as Pat Sajak: she has been with Wheel of Fortune since 1982, as the iconic “letter revealer” and co-host. She even filled in as host when Sajak was recovering from surgery.

When Sajak announced his retirement, many fans wanted White as the new full-time host, saying she was his natural successor. This did not come to pass, as the job went to American Idol and Live! host Ryan Seacrest.

With White’s contract set to expire, her future on the show wasn’t certain — and she entered “very difficult” negotiations with Sony Pictures Television over her salary.

Despite being a mainstay of the long-running, beloved game show, Vanna White reportedly had not received a salary increase in 18 years: she received $3 million a year, and Sajak was being paid five times as much (even though the opening of Wheel refers to them both as the “stars” of the show.)

Vanna White and Pat Sajak cut the cake at the “Wheel of Fortune” 25th Anniversary Party Sponsored by People Magazine on September 27, 2007 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/WireImage)

She reportedly asked for half of what Sajak was making, and even hired an “aggressive new lawyer” to negotiate.

“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,” a source close to White told TMZ.

Contract renewed for two years

Talks went on for months — but now, it has finally been confirmed that Vanna White has renewed her Wheel of Fortune contract for two more years.

The exact terms of the deal aren’t known, but it seems White succeeded in getting a bigger paycheck: a source told TMZ that White is getting a “substantial pay increase.”

Kathy Hutchins /

The renewal ensures that Wheel of Fortune will continue to have one familiar face after Ryan Seacrest takes over, which will no doubt make the transition period easier for fans.

We couldn’t imagine Wheel of Fortune without the great Vanna White, and we’re glad to hear she negotiated fairer terms in her new contract.

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