Pat Sajak Says He’s Nearing Retirement, But Wheel of Fortune ‘Will Not Die’

After more than four decades of hosting one of television’s most popular game shows of all time, Pat Sajak is starting to see retirement on the horizon. In 1981, Sajak began as the host of the hit game show Wheel of Fortune, and he remains in that position to this day. He has won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host three times with an additional 16 nominations, making Sajak one of today’s most accomplished television personalities.

At 75 years old, however, Sajak surmises that he doesn’t have another four decades of his life to invest in hosting Wheel of Fortune. In a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, Sajak commented on the game show’s enduring legacy and sees Wheel of Fortune going on forever. At the same time, the Emmy winner also recognizes that the same cannot be said for his legendary tenure as the hit show’s host, which could be coming to an end in the near future.


“In most television shows by this time, you would have said, ‘That’s probably enough,’ but this show will not die. 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.”

Celebrity Wheel of Fortune Brings In Big Stars, But No Meryl Streep


There’s still no date on the board at this time for Sajak to retire, so for now, he will continue hosting Wheel of Fortune. He also serves as host of the spinoff Celebrity Wheel of Fortune alongside longtime hostess Vanna White. The show is similar to the regular version of the game show but with celebrities competing with their winnings going to charity. Season 3 premieres on Sept. 25 on ABC with some of this season’s contestants including Snoop Dogg, Jenifer Lewis, Kevin McKidd, Joel Madden, Kristen Schaal, and Ron Funches.

Speaking with ET, White said she was particularly excited to see Snoop Dogg appearing on the show. For his part, Sajak, perhaps jokingly, says he’s trying to get Hollywood legend Meryl Streep to come in and spin the wheel. Sajak suggests that Streep may not be interested as Celebrity Wheel of Fortune wouldn’t be eligible for any Academy Awards. He then adds that what’s most important is the money that goes to charity.

“I’m still pulling for Meryl Streep ’cause I wanna see her say, ‘Come on, big money!’ That’s all I want, but she won’t come on because she found out you can’t win an Oscar for this… We wouldn’t do this for charity unless we wanted the charities to do well, so we try to stack as much as we can in that regard.”

Catch the season 3 premiere of Celebrity Wheel of Fortune on Sunday, Sept. 25.