Pat Sajak Leaving Wheel of Fortune After 40 Years

Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak announced he would be leaving the popular game show at the end of its upcoming 41st season: "The time has come."

By Gabrielle Chung Jun 13, 2023 12:32 AMTags
Watch: Pat Sajak Leaving Wheel of Fortune After 40 Years

Pat Sajak is gearing up for his final spin on the Wheel of Fortune.

The 76-year-old announced on June 12 that he will be stepping down from his role as the game show's host at the end of its upcoming season.

"Well, the time has come," he said in a statement to E! News. "I've decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last."

Sajak continued, "It's been a wonderful ride, and I'll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all."

Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Television's executive vice president of game shows Suzanne Prete said in a separate 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."

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According to Prete, Sajak "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!"

News of Sajak's exit comes nearly 40 years after he and hostess Vanna White made their debut on the nightly syndication of Wheel of Fortune. (Sajak previously hosted the show's daytime version for seven years, but left in 1989 to pursue a career as a talk show host. Wheel of Fortune's daytime version was ultimately canceled in 1991.)

Throughout the decades, Sajak has rarely missed a taping. He famously swapped places with White on a November 1996 episode—when laryngitis prevented him from hosting the bonus round—and again stepped back from his hosting duties in November 2019 to recover from emergency intestinal surgery

ABC/Christopher Willard

White filled in for Sajak during his weekslong hiatus, making it the first time since 1983 that the Vanna Speaks author hosted the show solo.

In recent years, Sajak hinted that he was ready to retire from Wheel of Fortune. "Years go by fast," he told Entertainment Tonight in 2022. "We're getting near the end."

He added at the time, "We're not gonna do this for another 40 years. The end is near."

Sajak shares two kids—son Patrick, 32, and daughter Maggie, 28—with his wife Lesly Brown.

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