As Pat Sajak told CBS Sunday morning (via YouTube), he didn’t initially care much about Vanna White as a potential “Wheel of Fortune” co-host because he thought she lacked confidence. After Susan Stafford left Wheel of Fortune, an audition was held to find her replacement. White ended up winning the gig – despite the fact that she didn’t exactly impress Sajak.
“I didn’t recommend Vanna and Vanna knows that,” Sajak explained. “Not that she wasn’t lovely and wonderful and personable, all of that, but she was by far the most nervous of them all.”
While Sajak was initially unimpressed, Wheel of Fortune creator Merv Griffin recognized White’s potential and the sibling chemistry between her and Sajak. The decision to give her the role of co-host proved to be the right one, as “Vannamania” soon swept the country and White herself soon realized she’d made it when she featured a picture of herself on the cover of the Newsweek magazine saw.