Pat Sajak Says Goodbye to 'Wheel of Fortune' During Final Show as Host



Pat Sajak.
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Pat Sajak is officially waving goodbye to Wheel of Fortune after four decades and more than 8,000 episodes.

Sajak, 77, who initially took over for Chuck Woolery in 1981, hosted the game show for the last time on Friday, June 7. He will be replaced by Ryan Seacrest, while his longtime cohost, Vanna White, is staying on in her current role.

Sajak began his final episode by saying he wanted to save a bit of time at the end for his final goodbye, so they would be cutting out one round of the game. To be fair, Sajak spun the wheel, promising each contestant that they would receive whatever amount the wheel landed on plus an additional $1,000. His spin landed on $1,000, resulting in each contestant taking home $2,000 right off the bat.

At the end of the episode, Sajak gave a heartwarming speech.

“Well, the time has come to say goodbye. I have a few thanks and acknowledgments before I go. And I want to start with all of you watching out there,” he began. “It’s been an incredible privilege to be invited into millions of homes night after night, year after year, decade after decade. And I’ve always felt that the privilege came with a responsibility to keep this daily half-hour a safe place for family fun. No social issues, no politics, nothing embarrassing, I hope. Just a game.”

Sajak addressed his departure in a preview shared ahead of Friday’s episode.

“Well, the time has come to say goodbye. I have a few thanks and acknowledgements before I go. And I want to start with all of you watching out there. It’s been an incredible privilege to be invited into millions of homes night after night, year after year, decade after decade,” he said. “And I’ve always felt that the privilege came with a responsibility to keep this daily half-hour a safe place for family fun. No social issues, no politics, nothing embarrassing I hope, just a game.”

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Sajak added that over time the show became “more” than he ever hoped.

“A place where kids learned their letters, where people from other countries honed their English skills, where families came together along with friends and neighbors and entire generations,” he said. “What an honor to have played even a small part in all that. Thank you for allowing me into your lives.”

Pat Sajak Says Goodbye to Wheel of Fortune During Final Show as Host

Pat Sajak.
Ralph Notaro/Getty Images

The television personality announced his Wheel of Fortune exit last June, writing via X, “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.”

On Friday, Sajak took to X to simply say, “Thank you all so very much.”

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Sajak isn’t the only one who’s feeling nostalgic this week. In a video shared by the Wheel of Fortune Instagram account on Thursday, June 6, White, 67, held back tears as she reflected on her journey with her cohost.

“I can’t believe that tomorrow is our last show together. I don’t know how to put into words what these past 41 years have meant to me but I’m gonna try,” she began. “8,000 episodes went by like that. When I first started, I was so green. You made me comfortable and made me so confident, Pat. You made me who I am. You really did.”

White added that she knows the pair will continue to be friends offscreen.

“You’re like a brother to me and I consider you a true lifelong friend who I will always adore. I love you, Pat,” she said.

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Pat’s daughter, Maggie Sajak, who has made multiple Wheel of Fortune appearances as a guest host and is the show’s social correspondent, commented, “Love you @officialvannawhite🤍.”

Maggie, 29, interviewed her dad about his decision to retire in a Thursday Instagram video.

“My goal was not to do the job until I keel over on it. I’d rather leave a couple of years too early than a couple of years too late,” he said. “I didn’t want this to be like a year-long maudlin ‘Oh, he’s leaving’ kind of thing. I tried to treat this season like any other.”





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