Vanna White Shares First Memory with 40-Year Co-Host Pat Sajak: 'I Wonder Where We'll Be in 10 Years'

Vanna White's 40th anniversary with Wheel of Fortune fell on Dec. 13

Wheel of Fortune 40th anniversary
Photo: Carol Kaelson/Wheel of Fortune/2022 Califon Productions, Inc. ARR

Vanna White has built an incredible legacy on Wheel of Fortune.

As of Tuesday, the longtime co-host has been a part of the series for 40 years. Though White didn't think she'd still be co-hosting the series to this day, she tells PEOPLE she has enjoyed every minute of it.

Looking back at her time on the series, White recalls a very early memory she shared with her co-host Pat Sajak.

"I remember sitting in the makeup chair next to Pat when we first started, when I first
started. And I turned to him and I said, 'I wonder where we'll be in 10 years,'" says White, 65, while promoting a recent event at Joann Fabrics and Crafts, celebrating her anniversary with Lion Brand Yarn.

"It's been 40," she adds. "It's been incredible. I'm so lucky and so happy."

Wheel of Fortune 40th anniversary
Carol Kaelson/Wheel of Fortune/2022 Califon Productions, Inc. ARR

White also notes she "cannot believe it's been 40 years."

"And honestly, I've loved every minute of it," she continues. "Who still says they love their job after 40 years? Me! I really do."

She adds, "It's a fun show. Everybody watches and enjoys it, and it changes people's lives and it makes people happy. So it's a great job."

Wheel of Fortune 40th anniversary
Carol Kaelson/Wheel of Fortune/2022 Califon Productions, Inc. ARR

Asked if she's ever contemplated leaving the beloved game show, White simply says "no."

"I mean, I've been happy. Coming to work, it's a happy place and most of the people here have been here for a very long time. So this is really a family to me," she explains. "We're all kind of connected and it's a happy place to come to work. And I even like Pat Sajak."

"He's my TV husband," she continues. "You know, we've been together … 40 years is a lot to be with somebody. We've been through a lot together."

The Wheel of Fortune crew celebrated White's career milestone while filming Tuesday, even getting her a cake for the ceremonious occasion. But she also celebrated another important event ahead of her 40th anniversary with the series.

Earlier this month, White commemorated her anniversary with Lion Brand Yarn, through which she became a spokesperson 30 years ago and later launched a yarn line. During an in-store appearance at Joann Fabrics and Crafts in Los Angeles' Sherman Oaks neighborhood, the avid crocheter met with fans and presented a $5,000 donation to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"Thirty years ago, I started with Lion Brand Yarn Company as their spokesperson. About 15 years later, they came to me and said, 'How would you feel about having your own line of yarn?'" she says of her early days with the brand. "And I said, 'I would love to do that. I would love to do that, but I want to be able to give back. So I'd like to donate some of my proceeds, half of my proceeds actually, to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.'"

She continues, "I went to St. Jude and visited them and just fell in love even more. So I decided that that was going to be the charity that I donated half of my proceeds to. And that was 15 years ago. And we're still going strong."

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Wheel of Fortune airs weeknights (check local listings).

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