The finish line could be in sight for Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune, and it may be coming soon. Still, White does not want to think about it just yet. Wheel of Fortune started its 40th season in September and White has been in her role with the game show since 1982. But it's more than just turning letters for White. She even stood in for Pat Sajak as host in late 2019 while he was undergoing emergency surgery.
"I think when Merv Griffin chose both of us, 40 and 41 years ago, he saw something between us – a brother-sister type relationship," White told PEOPLE, referring to the legendary game show creator. "And I think that is kind of what it is. He saw that we would be able to get along, and we do. We are like a brother and sister team."
When asked about Sajak's recent comments about their time on Wheel nearing the end, White said she did not even want to consider it. "I mean, we're a team," she said at an event celebrating her longtime association with Lion Brand Yarn. "That's depressing. I don't even want to think about it."
White, 65, said it was hard to imagine a world without her or Sajak, 76, hosting the series. "I just visualize us just being there. I can't think beyond that," she said, adding that she has "no idea" if Wheel could even continue without them. Viewers associate the show so closely with Sajak and White, it just wouldn't be the same.
"It's incredible. I cannot believe it's been 40 years. Honestly, I've loved every minute of it," White told PEOPLE. "Who still says they love their job after 40 years? Me! I really do. 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."
Sajak has hosted versions of Wheel of Fortune since 1981 when he took over for Chuck Woolery. The syndicated version with Sajak and White has been airing since September 1983. White joined the show in October 1982 and was made permanent hostess two months later. In September 2019 and January 2020, White hosted Wheel episodes while Sajak recovered from emergency surgery. Sajak and White are also hosting Celebrity Wheel of Fortune for ABC.
Ahead of the Season 40 premiere, Sajak told Entertainment Tonight he was considering retiring. "Years go by fast. We're getting near the end. It's been a long [time]. We're not gonna do this for another 40 years. The end is near," Sajak said. "It's an honor to have been in people's living rooms for that long. People were out there welcoming us. We're happy and proud."