'Wheel of Fortune' Host Pat Sajak Has High Praise for His Daughter Maggie's Letter-Turning Skills

With Pat Sajak's triumphant return as host of Wheel of Fortune tonight, he had some high praise for his daughter, Maggie, who filled a pivotal role in his absence. While being sidelined for some emergency surgery due to a blocked intestine, long-time letter-turner Vanna White took over his hosting duties. This, of course, meant White's role needed to be filled, which was done by the younger Sajak.

Following Sajak's surgery and subsequent recovery, White stepped in to host role for the first time in the 37 years they've worked on the show together. White's hosting tenure kicked off on Dec. 20, with Sajak briefly returning the following week. Following that week, the first new episodes of 2020 went back to White-hosted games before Sajak's formal return this evening.

To help her prepare for the role, White came to Maggie's house the night before her first taping and helped her practice with the aid of her refrigerator.

"They make it look easy, after all these years, and they're so great at their jobs," Maggie revealed to Good Morning America. "But you know, it is more complicated than you think."

Even though she seemed at home on the Wheel of Fortune stage, Maggie called the whole situation somewhat "bittersweet."

"It's bittersweet because obviously, the circumstances, you know, was that my dad couldn't be there, then going on to share how she reacted to his health scare," she explained. "It was definitely really scary. I'd like to say I was a trooper at the beginning. I wasn't. But I pulled myself together and I'm just so happy he's back in action and doing what he does."

While Maggie's role as letter-turner was much appreciated by the show's dedicated fanbase, and even had some suggesting that she should take over as host whenever Sajak decides to retire from the game show spotlight.


Sajak first started Wheel of Fortune back in December of 1981 and is currently contracted through 2022. Last month, in his own interview with GMA, he laid out his vague plans for the future, saying he'd rather leave "a couple years too early than a couple years too late."

"I don't have a date in mind, you know, two, three [years], something like that," he added.