Pat Sajak Confesses Why He’s Leaving ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Early Amid Ryan Seacrest Drama

Wheel of Fortune viewers are going to have to get used to change soon, with Pat Sajak retiring from the show earlier than expected, despite the drama surrounding Ryan Seacrest and Vanna White’s pay after Sajak’s replacement was announced.

The long-time game show host recently opened up about his decision to retire.

In anticipation of his final episode on Friday, Good Morning America aired a montage showcasing Pat’s 40-year career.

Who Will Replace Pat Sajak as Host? 'Wheel of Fortune' Fans Weigh In -  Newsweek

The throwback clips featured a younger version of Sajak alongside Vanna, during key moments from the hit show, which catapulted both of them into fame.

Why Sajak Feels The Time Is Right To Retire

Pat Sajak smiling and standing outside Craig's Restaurant

During the nearly four-minute segment, Maggie Sajak, 29, who serves as Wheel of Fortune’s social media correspondent, interviewed her father about his retirement, including what prompted the decision.

Pat explained his perspective on retiring at the right time, saying, “I believed I should leave a couple of years too early than a couple of years too late.” He pondered aloud, “Could I still do it? Yeah, I think I could for a while.”

However, he acknowledged the desire to pursue other interests, adding, “There’s also other things in life we’d like to do.” He mentioned his retirement plans, humorously stating he would be content spending his time doing “crossword puzzles and playing with his grandchildren.”

Reflecting on his career, Pat shared, “I’m enjoying this last year. It’s been a great 40 years. I’m looking forward to whatever is ahead.”

In addition to Maggie, Pat and his wife, Lesly Brown, have a son named Patrick. Like his sister, Patrick does not yet have children for their grandfather to play with, a fact that Pat lightheartedly alluded to during the interview. Sajak joked, “Hint. Hint. Hint. No pressure,” prompting Maggie to laugh and smile at the camera.

Why Ryan Seacrest Is A Controversial ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Host

Ryan Seacrest poses for cameras

Ryan Seacrest will be stepping into Pat’s shoes as his replacement, which may not be a surprise given Ryan’s long history as a T.V. host, including for shows like American Idol. His salary hasn’t been confirmed, but it’s rumored to be tens of millions.

When he was announced, it was revealed Vanna White was disputing her own salary, as she apparently hadn’t had a raise in nearly 20 years, highlighting the big gender pay gap on Wheel of Fortune.

A recent report said Seacrest was feeling the pressure and may even regret signing on to host the show. “Despite his glittering résumé, Seacrest is terrified,” a source told Closer. “He breezed through hosting Idol and had Kelly Ripa to lean on during Live — but Wheel is a different beast altogether.”

. “It’s the biggest risk of his career,” they continued. “Ryan’s always been the picture of charm and confidence — but this time, the stakes are higher than ever!”

Sajak’s final episode will air on June 7.

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