The reason ‘Wheel of Fortune’ made a major change to the show after 38 seasons

Pat Sajak
Photo credit Getty Images
By , Audacy

Pat Sajak is explaining why “Wheel of Fortune” recently changed the iconic game show after 38 seasons on the air.

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When “Wheel of Fortune” premiered its 39th season last week, fans may have noticed Sajak no longer initiates the "final spin" of the game. Now the contestants are the ones who are in charge of the final spin, which determines the dollar amount for correctly guessing the remaining letters until the puzzle is solved.

Sajak addressed the new procedure in an interview on the show’s official YouTube page with his daughter Maggie, WOF’s new online media correspondent.

"You remember when Vanna used to turn the letters? Well she complained. The work was way too hard, the workload, so now they just light up…No, I'm lying about this," he joked, before disclosing the real reason for the change.

"The reason is, honestly, I’ve never liked the idea of imposing the host on the game. That always bothered me a little bit. I was looking for a way around it and we finally got to talking and we said, ‘Look, someone’s spinning the wheel anyway. We’ll save time and just let them spin it,’” the 74-year-old said. “So the final spin, at least as far as the host is concerned, is gone. But the final spin remains, I’m just not doing it.”

Ahead of the show’s new season, Sajak and co-host Vanna White secured their gigs for a little longer. While the duo signed contracts to continue hosting the show through 2024, Sajak also added consulting producer to his resume.

The additional job title comes as Mike Richards, the former executive producer of “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” was let go of his positions on both shows weeks after also stepping down as the new host of “Jeopardy!”

For the remainder of this season, “Jeopardy!” will be hosted by actress Mayim Bialik and former champion Ken Jennings.

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