From online social media coordinator to investigative journalist, Maggie Sajak is on the case for the answer behind Pat Sajak’s decision to stop doing the Final Spin on Wheel of Fortune. Since the debut of the show’s 13th season, one of America’s favorite gameshows has seen a couple of changes. Along with a shiny new set and music, the show also made a revision to the gameplay: Pat Sajak will no longer do the Final Spin. As daughter and employee Maggie Sajak announced, it was the first time in history that this happened.
Before you start to panic, rest assured – the Final Spin is still a part of Wheel of Fortune. The only difference is that the game’s host will not be the one performing the task. Instead, the contestant currently guessing letters will spin the wheel. According to Sajak, the change is a small yet necessary revision to the host’s role on the show.
At first, Sajak in his usual humorous manner joked that the duty was just too taxing.
“You remember when Vanna used to turn the letters?” The Wheel of Fortune host asked his daughter. Of course, Maggie was well-familiar with Vanna White, whom she’s known since she toddled out onto the game show’s stage.
“Well, she complained that the work was too hard,” Sajak joked. “So, now they just light up.”
But Sajak couldn’t keep up the gimmick much longer. Comedic routine aside, the host actually had a credible reason for the change: he didn’t want the host to have any influence over the game.
“Honestly, I’ve never liked the idea of imposing the host on the game. That always bothered me a little bit,” the Wheel of Fortune host explained.
Pat Sajak Breaks Down New ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Rule
Sajak’s concern over the host’s influence on the game isn’t so surprising, given how much the host values his contestants. In the past, the Wheel of Fortune host stressed the importance of keeping the focus on the competitors. Meanwhile, the host should always remain in the background acting as the mere framing device that keeps the show running between commercial breaks. Since the Final Spin is an integral part of the game, he wanted to ensure that it reflected the show’s integrity.
So, during a meeting with the executive producers, Sajak voiced his concern about the Final Spin.
“We finally got to talking about it,” Sajak said, referring to the Wheel of Fortune team, “And we said, ‘Look, someone’s spinning the wheel anyway. We’ll save time. We’ll just let them spin it.”
Now, contestants will handle the Final Spin on their own. Whoever has the current turn will spin. If they land on a Bankrupt, penalty or prize slot, they’ll get to spin again until the ticker lands on a cash value. This is exactly what already happened when Sajak spun the wheel. The only mere difference is whose hand does the actual spinning.