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Pat Sajak makes one last spin as Wheel of Fortune host

CULVER CITY, Calif. (NBC, KYMA/KECY) - Pat Sajak takes final spin as host of "Wheel of Fortune" after 41 years.

On Friday, he said goodbye to the popular gameshow after a stunning 41-year run that included more than 8,000 episodes.

The 77-year-old host delivered an emotional farewell to viewers, saying it was in incredible privilege to be invited into millions of homes decade after decade.

"And I've always felt that the privilege came with a 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 that. Thank you for allowing me into your lives."

Pat Sajak

His first show was back in 1981 with co-host Vanna White, and over time, they became pop culture icons.

"Vanna is as sweet and unassuming as she seems. We've seen a lot of changes in each other's lives over the years, but we've always been there for each other," Sajak expressed.

On Thursday's show, she thanked him for an "incredible and unforgettable journey."

Sajak has won three Daytime Emmys and a lifetime achievement award, according to Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

His retirement is not a surprise as he announced last June he would be stepping down. Yet, it wasn't easy on Friday as he said he felt a "mixed bag" of emotions, but that the time was right.

Ryan Seacrest will take over as host and White will stay on as co-host through the 2025-26 season.

Article Topic Follows: California News

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