All together, White's filmed three weeks worth of Wheel of Fortune episodes as the special host, before Sajak returned, and the game show veteran's first episode aired Monday night.
"I’ve never even thought of that in 37 years," White said of hosting in an interview with The New York Times last week. "And to be asked almost on the spot, ‘How do you feel about hosting the show?’ Like, what?!"
White admitted that she was "excited and nervous" about taking on the new role -- as her position has largely been a silent one, apart from some occasional banter between her and Sajak during the episodes.
However, being a part of the show for almost four decades made her an obvious choice for who should fill in for Sajak on such short notice.
"Normally I just stand there and I turn my letters, and I’m just happy as can be not having to worry about anything else," White shared. "But here I am controlling the game. So logistically, it was much harder. But I know every aspect of the game, which helped so much."
While White was at the big wheel for three weeks, the show -- which was filming Disney-themed episodes -- tasked costumed Mickey and Minnie Mouse characters to turn the letters on the board for the first two weeks. For the final week, the show reportedly had a special guest who will be revealed when they take their place at the big board on the first episode of the week.
Fan reactions to White's first episode as host were, in a word, mixed. There were many who praised the Wheel of Fortune stalwart for stepping up when she had to, and staunchly defended her against critics.
Some of y’all watching Vanna White hosting Wheel of Fortune while Pat’s out sick might be shell-shocked. But this is nothing new for those of us that owned the computer game. Old news. pic.twitter.com/kAxCprK6S6
Pat Sajak had emergency surgery, which means Vanna White likely got tossed into hosting Wheel of Fortune without any preparation. Anyone criticizing her can kick rocks. Id like to see all of you try and do a job you’ve never done, and do it in front of a live audience and cameras
Considering this is only White's first episode, it'll be interesting to see how she settles into the new position over the next three weeks.
Meanwhile, ET spoke with White in May at the 26th Annual Race to Erase MS Gala, where she opened up about another longtime friend and fellow gameshow icon, Alex Trebek, who's been dealing with his own health struggle this year.