‘Wheel of Fortune’: Here’s What Pat Sajak Has to Say About Who Replaces Him as Host When He Retires

by Chris Haney
(Ricky Middlesworth/ABC via Getty Images)

Wheel of Fortune fans may be surprised to hear host Pat Sajak’s preference, or lack thereof, as to who should replace him when his tenure on the game show is over.

Oddly enough, Sajak seems to be indifferent as to who takes over his longstanding position as Wheel of Fortune host. He and Vanna White have helped popularize the famous game show since 1981. Four decades later there have been talks that Sajak’s time on the game show could be coming to an end sooner rather than later.

The game show host’s health issues have brought into question just how long he plans on staying in the position. In late 2019, Sajak underwent emergency surgery after suffering from a blocked intestine. As temporary host, White filled in admirably while Sajak’s daughter, Maggie, filled in for White.

When TMZ caught up with the longtime Wheel of Fortune host in January 2020, they asked Sajak about his replacement preference. However, even after four decades, he doesn’t seem to care who takes over for him.

“Once I’m gone, I don’t care who takes the reins,” Sajak simply explained.

‘Wheel of Fortune’ Host Pat Sajak Contemplates Retirement

For decades, Pat Sajak has hosted the wildly popular game show Wheel of Fortune. Like Alex Trebek on Jeopardy!, Sajak and Vanna White have become household names. We almost take longtime hosts like them for granted. As fans, we rarely consider their age or health. Or the fact that they may not want to continue hosting forever.

In Sajak’s case, he holds the Guinness World Record for most game shows hosted. He’s a staple of television viewing. Yet during recent years, the host has at least addressed thoughts of retirement. In 2019, the 74-year-old told Good Morning America that he thought he had a “couple years” left at the wheel.

“I’m not getting any younger. A couple of years,” Sajak said on GMA. “You know what I’m really sensitive about? I’d rather leave a couple years too early than a couple years too late. … I don’t have a date in mind, but two, three [years], something like that.”

But earlier this year, Sajak and White also discussed retiring from the game show with Access Hollywood. Sajak mentioned that he and White would “probably walk off into the sunset at the same time.” However, White, 64, chimed in to say that their joint-retirement wouldn’t be “anytime soon.”

At a minimum, Sajak promised that they wouldn’t end their time on Wheel of Fortune this year. The two longtime hosts will at least remain on the game show through 2021.