Pat Sajak bids farewell to ‘Wheel of Fortune’ viewers with emotional sign-off

    After more than 40 years and 8,000 episodes, Pat Sajak is saying goodbye to Wheel of Fortune.

    The longtime host will officially retire when he gives the wheel its final spin during tonight’s episode.

    With just hours before Sajak’s final episode is set to air, the production released a clip showing viewers what they can expect as the host says goodbye.

    “I have a few thanks and acknowledgements before I go. And I want to start with all of you watching out there,” Sajak says, per Variety.

    “It’s been an incredible privilege to be invited into millions of homes, night after night, decade after decade. And I always felt that the privilege 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. But gradually it became more than that — a place where kids learned their letters, where people from other countries honed their English skills, where families came together along with friends and neighbors and entire generations. What an honor to have played even a small part in all of that. Thank you for allowing me into your lives.”

    Everett Collection /

    Sajak first announced he was leaving Wheel of Fortune in June 2023, stating “the time has come.”

    The former weatherman first started hosting the daytime edition of Wheel of Fortune in 1981 before moving to the syndicated version in 1983 where he began his co-hosting duties with Vanna White.

    FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – DECEMBER 9 : Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak looks toward the puzzle board during the show at the Broward County Convention Center on December 9, 2005 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Photo by Ralph Notaro/Getty Images)

    During Thursday night’s episode, White paid tribute to Sajak with an emotional message to her “brother.”

    “As this chapter of our lives is coming to an end, I know you’ll still be close by. You’re like a brother to me, and I consider you a true lifelong friend who I will always adore. I love you, Pat,” she said.

    Wheel of Fortune and Pat Sajak have been apart of my life for as long as I can remember. It’s so sad to hear this will be his last show, but he deserves to enjoy retirement!

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