It’s the end of an era. After 41 years, Pat Sajak is saying goodbye to “Wheel of Fortune.”
The legendary game show host shared the news in a statement Monday afternoon (June 12).
“Well, the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last,” Sajak wrote. “It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all. (If nothing else, it’ll keep the clickbait sites busy!)”
Well, the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last. It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all. (If nothing else, it’ll keep the clickbait sites busy!)
— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) June 12, 2023
Sajak will be leaving hosting duties behind, but will continue to contribute as a consultant, Sony Pictures Television producer Suzanne Prete said in a statement.
“As the host of ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ Pat has entertained millions of viewers across America for 40 amazing years. We are incredibly grateful and proud to have had Pat as our host for all these years and we look forward to celebrating his outstanding career throughout the upcoming season,” Prete wrote. “Pat has agreed to continue as a consultant on the show for three years following his last year hosting, so we’re thrilled to have him remaining close to the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ family!”
Sajak joined “Wheel of Fortune” in 1981 as the emcee for the daytime edition from 1981, taking over nighttime duties in 1983. Sajak has won the Daytime Emmy for outstanding game show host three times, along with 19 total nominations.
Pat Sajak, 76, is one of the most successful game show hosts in television history.
In 2016, Sajak was reportedly earning $15 million per season, and he has an estimated net worth of more than $70 million.
In addition to his hosting gig, Sajak also has some acting credits. In 1983, he had a guest role on Days of Our Lives. But, due to his recognizability as a game show host, the small screen opportunities that followed mostly included playing fictionalized versions of himself. He appeared on Fresh Off the Boat, The King of Queens, Rugrats, The A-Team, and two episodes of The Larry Sanders Show.
Pat Sajak’s retirement has fans wondering about his long-time “Wheel of Fortune” co-star, Vanna White.
Two years ago, Vanna White and Pat Sajak told Access Hollywood that when the time came, they would likely “walk off into the sunset at the same time.”
Vanna added that she couldn’t imagine doing the show without Pat. So, should fans expect a retirement announcement from Vanna as well? It sounds possible.
Watch Pat and Vanna’s interview with Access Hollywood from 2021 below.