Pat Sajak on the 'Incredible Privilege' and 'Responsibility' He's Had to Viewers on Final Wheel of Fortune Episode

Pat Sajak has officially said goodbye to his time hosting Wheel of Fortune

Published Time: 08.06.2024 - 03:31:10 Modified Time: 08.06.2024 - 03:31:10

Pat Sajak has officially said goodbye to his time hosting Wheel of Fortune.

On his final episode on Friday, June 7, the game show host, 77, addressed his audience for the last time with a heartfelt speech. He took the time to thank not only his viewers but also the people behind the scenes who were responsible for the show's lasting success over the past 40 years.

"Well the time has come to say goodbye," he began. "I have a few thanks and acknowledgments before I go and I wanna 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."

Sajak shared how the "privilege" to host Wheel of Fortune came with "the 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," he laughed as he reflected on how the gameshow "gradually became more" than just fun. He went on to describe how Wheel of Fortune became a place where "kids learn their letters," people from foreign countries can "hone their English skills" and families, friends, neighbors and "entire generations" could come together.

"What an honor to play even a small part in all that," Sajak continued. "Thank you for allowing me into your lives, every time we taped a show I met three new people from all parts of this wonderful country and the world who were kind and considerate, who rooted for each other, who took great pride in talking about their family, their hometown, their friends, their schools, their jobs, even their pets."

He added, "In the end, they were the real stars of the show. I genuinely like these people and I'll miss the chance to meet more of them."

The television personality also sent a note of gratitude to the staff and crew he's shared the stage with for "5 years, 10 years, 20, 30 and more." Sharing what a "joy" it'd been to work alongside a cast of skilled and dedicated in -

dividuals, Sajak said that the crew "made this a place I always wanted to be."

Sajak, who began hostingWheel of Fortunein 1981, firstannounced his retirementin June 2023 in a statement shared on X. But in the "last couple of years," the game show host says the "best part" of his job has been working with his daughter Maggie Sajak and watching her "grow in her role" as the show's social correspondent.

"Maggie is liked around here because she's talented and smart and funny, but she's loved around here because she's kind and caring and humble," he continued, adding how he and his wife Lesly are "blessed" to have such "wonderful" children in Maggie and her brother Patrick.

Last but not least, Sajak paid tribute to his "professional other half," his co-host Vanna White, and shared how grateful he felt to have been paired with someone as "sweet and unassuming" as she seems.

"We've seen a lot of changes in each other's lives over the years, but we've always been there for each other," he smiled. "While I'll very much miss working with her, I take solace in the fact that we live about five miles apart so we'll see plenty of each other. But I will miss our nightly closes and her laughter and her good nature."

"She's a very special woman and I know you're all pleased to know she'll be back next season," he said, noting that the audience will be able to catch him again in summer reruns. "The jokes will be the same, but I'll appreciate it if you laugh again anyways."

"Thank you all again so much and goodbye," Sajak concluded.

Weeks after Sajak announced his retirement,Ryan Seacrestwasconfirmed as his replacement. White will continue to co-host alongside Seacrest, 49,through the 2025-2026 season.

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Wheel of Fortune airs weekdays in syndication (check local listings).

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