Wheel of Fortune Host Pat Sajak Hints at Retirement: "The End Is Near"

Pat Sajak says the end is near for his time as the host of the game show Wheel of Fortune. Sajak, 75, has hosted the daily game show for 40 years. In 2021, Sajak and co-host Vanna White signed a new contract to extend their stay on the series until 2024. However, speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Sajak hinted that he might not be hosting Wheel of Fortune for much longer. "In most television shows by this time, you would have said, 'That's probably enough,' but this show will not die," Sajak said of Wheel of Fortune, which debuted in 1975. "It appears I may go before the show. Years go by fast. We're getting near the end. It's been a long [time]. We're not gonna do this for another 40 years. The end is near. It's an honor to have been in people's living rooms for that long. People were out there welcoming us. We're happy and proud."

But Sajak isn't done yet. Currently, he's preparing to host contestants with higher profiles than usual in the third season of Celebrity Wheel of Fortune. This season's contestants include Snoop Dogg, Kevin McKidd, Jenifer Lewis, Tiki Barber, Jim Jefferies, Amanda Seales, Kristen Schaal, Ron Funches, Joel Madden, Francia Raisa, and Jaime Camil. However, there's still one star Sajak hopes to get on the show before he calls it quits.

"I'm still pulling for Meryl Streep 'cause I wanna see her say, 'Come on, big money!'" he says. "That's all I want, but she won't come on because she found out you can't win an Oscar for this."

The contestants aren't competing for any Oscars but they can win $1 million for charity. "We wouldn't do this for charity unless we wanted the charities to do well," Sajak says, "so we try to stack as much as we can in that regard."

Sajak's new contract brought some changes to the show, including an updated set and theme song. It also brought Sajak's daughter, Maggie on board as Wheel of Fortune's social correspondent, "sharing exclusive videos, behind-the-scenes access, and interviews with the hosts, staff, crew, and contestants."

In a slight rules change, Sajak also stopped being the one to make the final spin of the show, instead giving that right to the controlling player at the time. "If you think about it, by doing the "final spin" I, as host, had an impact on the outcome of the game and that has always bothered me because it just didn't feel right," Sajak told Today. "With this change, only the contestants determine the outcome of the game and the host does not impose themself in any way."