'Wheel of Fortune' host Pat Sajak announces his retirement: 'It's been a wonderful ride'

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Pat Sajak has announced his retirement date. (Photo: Carol Kaelson/Wheel of Fortune®/© 2023 Califon Productions, Inc. ARR.)

Pat Sajak, the longtime host of TV's Wheel of Fortune, announced Monday that next season will be his last.

"Well, the time has come," Sajak shared on social media. "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!)"

Sajak joined the syndicated show in 1981. Additionally, he hosted a daytime version of the series throughout the '80s. He's won three Daytime Emmy Awards, as well as a Lifetime Achievement honor, for his work. In Wheel of Fortune's 36th season, in 2018, he succeeded the Price Is Right's Bob Barker as the longest-running host of a game show.

Suzanne Prete, the executive vice president of game shows for Sony Pictures Television, offered a 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. Pat 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."

Now 76, Sajak has explained in the past few years that he wouldn't be spinning the wheel forever, although, as Deadline reported in September 2021, both he and White extended their contracts with the show through 2024.

He told Yahoo Entertainment in November 2017 that he was "getting closer to the end."

"I'd like to leave while the show is still popular. That would be nice — to let someone else take over on a show that's still working well," Sajak said. "I'd also like to leave before people tune in and go, 'My God, what the hell happened to him?'"

The show responded to his announcement.

"Thank you to the best host in the biz. Wheel of Fortune would not be what it is today without you, Pat. Looking forward to Season 41 being better than ever!"

Sajak's replacement has not been announced. His co-host Vanna White has filled in him for him in the past, while his daughter and the show's current social correspondent, Maggie Sajak, turned the letters.