Pop Culture

Pat Sajak to retire from ‘Wheel of Fortune’: ‘The time has come’

Beloved gameshow host Pat Sajak will soon take his final bow on Wheel of Fortune.

Sajak, 76, announced on Monday that the hit show’s upcoming 41st season will mark his soon-to-be retirement.

“Well, the time has come,” Sajak tweeted. “I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last.”

He continued, writing, “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!)”

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The official Wheel of Fortune Instagram account also shared Sajak’s statement and added a simple, “Thank you, Pat!”

In a separate statement to People magazine, Suzanne Prete, the executive vice president of game shows at Sony Pictures Television, said Sajak will retire, but will also serve a three-year stint as a consultant for Wheel of Fortune. 

“As the host of Wheel of Fortune, Pat has entertained millions of viewers across America for 40 amazing years,” Prete said. “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. 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!”

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Sajak has been the Wheel of Fortune host since 1981. The following year, his iconic co-host Vanna White joined the production to operate the gameshow board and reveal letters as they are guessed by contestants.

In an interview with Good Morning America in 2019, Sajak discussed a health scare that ruined his perfect attendance record for Wheel of Fortune tapings. Though a blocked intestine and low blood pressure kept him from filming Wheel of Fortune at the time, Sajak said he’d like to remain the game show’s host for as long as he can.

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“I’ve gotta do this until — you know — I’m doddering,” he said. “I think I still do it at a high level. But you know, I can’t do it another 40 years, I know that, because I’d be 110, and that would be a record.”

It is not yet clear who will step in to fill Sajak’s shoes as Wheel of Fortune‘s next host.

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