Pat Sajak opens up about his final week on Wheel of Fortune: ‘I’m looking forward to whatever’s ahead’

pat sajak 2017 Creative Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium
Pat Sajak will appear in his final episode of Wheel of Fortune this week. Pic credit: ©

Pat Sajak is looking ahead to his future as he inches closer to his final episode of Wheel of Fortune.

The legendary game show host has left an indelible mark as the host of Wheel of Fortune for the last 43 years, but now it’s time to bid farewell to his career.

Ahead of his last episode, which airs this week on June 7, Pat sat down with a familiar face to discuss his future.

Pat was joined by his daughter, Maggie Sajak, who serves as Wheel of Fortune’s Social Correspondent, to discuss his plans for the future.

“[My retirement] was announced a long time ago, almost a year ago. So I’ve had time to sort of get used to it,” Pat told Maggie during their interview, shared by Good Morning America.

“And it’s been a little bit wistful and all that, but I’m enjoying it and taking it all in and reflecting on the great run.”

Pat Sajak called his career on Wheel of Fortune ‘awfully gratifying’

Pat admitted he’s felt “surprisingly okay” about his departure and is grateful for his role in entertaining Wheel watchers for over four decades.

“We became part of the popular culture,” he shared. “And more importantly, we became part of people’s lives. And that’s been awfully gratifying.”

The 77-year-old TV icon is optimistic about his future and ready to tackle whatever life throws his way. He feels that the timing of his departure is just right.

“I’d rather leave a couple years too early than a couple of years too late,” Pat said. “It’s been a great 40 years, and I’m looking forward to whatever’s ahead.”

Pat is looking forward to doing crossword puzzles and playing with his future grandchildren

So, with his retirement looming, what does Pat intend to do with all the time he’s freeing up? The father of two hopes he’ll soon have grandchildren to chase after in his spare time.

Pat joked with his 29-year-old daughter, “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.”

Maggie got emotional as she thanked her father for turning Wheel of Fortune into a “cultural phenomenon.”

“So, thank you for an amazing 40+ years,” Maggie said as she choked back tears.

“Thank you, sweetheart,” Pat told his daughter before getting up from his seat to share a hug with Maggie.

Wheel of Fortune has given away millions in cash and prizes during Pat’s tenure

As GMA host Janai Norman mentioned, Wheel of Fortune has set some amazing records during Pat’s time on the show.

In addition to celebrating its 8,000th episode recently, Wheel of Fortune has given away some incredible amounts of money.

In 41 years, Wheel of Fortune has given away almost 600 cars, nearly 5,000 vacations, and a whopping $324 million in cash and prizes.

On top of that, Pat’s trusty co-host, Vanna White, has walked the equivalent of 52 miles on the stage at Sony Pictures Studios, turning tiles for contestants.

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