After 41 seasons of hosting Wheel of Fortune, Pat Sajak has announced that he will retire from the popular game show. Sajak, who has been the face of the show since 1981, revealed his decision on Twitter on Monday, June 12, 2023.
“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!)” he wrote.
Sajak, 76, has entertained millions of viewers across America with his witty remarks and friendly banter with contestants and co-host Vanna White, who joined him in 1982. Together, they have become one of the most iconic duos in television history.
Wheel of Fortune, which features contestants guessing letters to try to fill out words and phrases to win money and prizes, debuted in 1975 with Chuck Woolery as the original host. Sajak took over the duties in 1981 when the show moved from NBC to syndication and aired in the evening in many markets.
Sajak has also hosted various spinoff shows, such as Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, which premiered in 2021. He has won four Emmy Awards for his work on Wheel of Fortune, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.
According to a statement from Sony Pictures Television, which produces Wheel of Fortune, Sajak will continue to serve as a consultant on the show for three years after his retirement as host.
“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,” said Suzanne Prete, executive vice president of game shows for Sony Pictures Television.
Sajak has not revealed who will replace him as the host of Wheel of Fortune, but he has hinted that he may be considering leaving the show early or after the next season. He said he would like to leave before people notice his decline and that he may go before the show. He also suggested that White could be eyeing an exit as well.