If you think Wheel of happiness has to be on all your life, you’re more than likely right. The mega-hit game present debuted in January that 1975–that’s over 45 year ago! It likewise seems choose the dynamic duo master of the show, beat Sajak and also Vanna White, have always been over there spinning the wheel and also selling vowels. Together it happens, Sajak and also White have actually only to be on the Wheel together because 1982, and also when the present started, there wasn’t also a wheel come spin. 


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Pat Sajak | Jerritt Clark/Getty Images

Wheel Of fortune was dubbed Shoppers Bazaar in the pilot episode


Way ago in 1975, chuck Woolery was tapped to hold a brand-new game show, Shoppers Bazaar. The show’s premise was a combination of the children’s video game Hangman and also playing roulette. Contestants spun the wheel, and they had actually the opportunity to win the quantity the wheel arrived on if lock guessed a correct letter. In this version, contestants determined the prizes they wanted to win and played for fake money to buy the real prizes. In a clip indigenous the 1973 pilot episode, friend see several of the prizes–a collection of Gucci luggage, a Tiffany sterling silver tea set, and also a vintage Firebird. The original collection design to be a life room, yet one through a casino wheel top top the wall.

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Shoppers Bazaar turns right into the Wheel


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Wheel that Fortune debuted on NBC in January of 1975, going head to head in daytime against CBS juggernaut The Price Is Right. The life room full of fabulous prizes was changed by a Carnival-inspired set, complete of glowing colors and a giant, glittering wheel in prior of the contestant’s podiums. Woolery looked after the spinning indigenous his own podium, and model Susan Stafford turned the letters.

Contestants still supplied their winnings to buy merchandise, but the video game was play the very same as the pilot outlined. Winners of every round walk on a shopping spree after the round, and also any leftover “cash” got in a gift certificate or into the contestant’s account. If they struggle the Bankrupt point out on the wheel in a succeeding round they lost all your winnings. 

Wheel producers switched come cash winnings in 1987, both to rate up the game and for tax reasons.

Pat and Vanna do an entrance


pat & Vanna are all set to explore the City by the Bay! tune in all next week for new episodes that celebrate the good American City, the mountain Francisco just Area. #WheelOfFortune #SF #BayArea

A short article shared through Wheel of luck (

Like plenty of TV stars, Woolery wanted a raise in 1980. Like numerous producers, Wheel creator and also producer Merv Griffin decreased to offer it come him, and also replaced Woolery with Chicago weatherman beat Sajak. Griffin rental Vanna White to it is in Sajak’s sidekick in 1982, mostly because he chosen the means they quickly occurred a sibling-like relationship. Since then, they have actually taped end 6,500 episodes of Wheel together, and neither shows any type of interest in leaving the show. Why would they–each is a millionaire countless times over for working four or 5 days a month, and also Vanna gets to design all those great gowns. Have you ever before noticed that Pat’s bow tie always complements she dress?

The Wheel collection has gone high-tech

Wheel that Fortune’s set has come a long way from the beforehand days, when a collection technician had to lied under the wheel to prevent the spinning. Vanna doesn’t also have to turn the letter anymore, it’s every digital and she just has to touch the block to expose the letter. One thing that hasn’t changed is that on your TV, all the contestants are the exact same height–Sajak’s five feet, 10 inches. This leads many would-be contestants to wonder if they need to be 5’10” too, and also the price is no. It transforms out the the Wheel producers have all the contestants stand on risers so the they all appear to it is in Sajak’s height, follow to Radio. White is just 5’6″, but is commonly wearing heels that carry her just around to Sajak’s eye level. 

See? They’re every the exact same height.

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If you desire to stand on a riser and spin the wheel, you’ve got to be patient. Over one million hopefuls filled the end an application and sent in a video last year, and also only 600 were preferred as contestants. However you never know, so walk ahead and also practice was standing on a box. Simply in case.