Pat Sajak broke his silence on leaving Wheel of Fortune with this surprising confession

Photo by Paul Stack CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pat Sajak became an institution hosting Wheel of Fortune for over 40 years.

Now the long-running game show is undergoing a changing of the guard.

And Pat Sajak broke his silence on leaving Wheel of Fortune with this surprising confession.

Pat Sajak talks about his run on Wheel of Fortune 

Longtime Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak said goodbye to fans when his final episode of the beloved game show aired.

He announced his retirement last year from Wheel after becoming the show’s host in 1981.

The 77-year-old talked about his decision to hang it up during a segment on ABC’s Good Morning America with his daughter Maggie Sajak.

Sajak told her why now was the right time for him to retire.

“I’ve always said this to you, you’ve heard me say this dozens of times, I’d rather leave a couple of years too early than a couple of years too late,” Sajak said.

He won’t be too far away after he agreed to stay around for three years as a consultant to Wheel of Fortune

“Could I still do it? Yeah, I think I could for a while. There’s also some other things in life that we’d like to do, and I’m enjoying this last year,” Sajak remarked. “It’s been a great 40 years, and I’m looking forward to whatever’s ahead.”

Wheel of Fortune host reveals his feelings during his final week 

Maggie Sajak joined Wheel of Fortune in 2021 as a social media correspondent.

Her dad gave her a not-so-subtle hint that he wanted some grandkids in his future.

“I’m perfectly happy if it just means that I’ll continue with my crossword puzzles and play with grandchildren – hint, hint, hint, no pressure,” Sajak said.

Maggie asked how he felt about his last day on the game show that he became synonymous with.

“Surprisingly OK,” Sajak stated.

“You know, this was announced a long time ago, almost a year ago,” Sajak explained. “So I’ve had time to sort of get used to it, and it’s been a little bit wistful and all that, but I’m enjoying it and taking it in and reflecting on a great run.”

Sajak reflected on the significance of Wheel of Fortune in popular culture 

“I do know that somewhere along the line we became more than a popular show, we became part of the popular culture, and more importantly, we became part of people’s lives,” Sajak recalled. “And that’s been awfully gratifying.”

“This show means the world to us,” Maggie replied. “It’s been such a gift. You’ve made what could have just been Hangman into a cultural phenomenon. So thank you for these amazing 40-plus years.”

In an emotional moment, father and daughter hugged.

Sajak passed the late, great Price is Right host Bob Barker to become the longest game show host in history in September 2022.

Now, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest will fill his massive shoes as Wheel of Fortune’s host next season.

Pat Sajak will leave the show as one of the most beloved TV personalities in history.