Vanna White bids emotional goodbye to ‘Wheel of Fortune’ co-host Pat Sajak

Vanna White paid an emotional tribute to her co-host Pat Sajak Thursday ahead of his final episode of "Wheel of Fortune." 

On Thursday’s episode of the iconic game show, White honored Sajak’s work and their friendship with a video segment that featured clips and photos tracing their time together. The pair co-hosted the show together for more than four decades. 

"As this chapter of our lives is coming to an end, I know you’ll still be close by. You’re like a brother to me and I consider you a true lifelong friend who I will always adore," she said. "I love you, Pat."

White, 67, said that while their long-running work collaboration on "Wheel of Fortune" has been significant to her, she said their personal friendship has meant much more.


Vanna White and Pat Sajak. (Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images)

"As much fun as we had on camera, those memories, milestones and life events we shared with our families, outside the studio, are my favorite," she said, seeming to hold back tears. "We’ve watched our children grow up together, we’ve traveled all over the world, we’ve eaten hundreds of meals together. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve celebrated."

After the prerecorded video segment ended, Sajak and White shared a hug on stage.

Sajak and White have been one of television’s most iconic duos since they started working on "Wheel of Fortune" together in 1982, when the show first aired in syndication. They have appeared in over 8,000 episodes together, with Sajak leading the contestants through the game and White famously turning the letters on the puzzle board.

Is Vanna White leaving ‘Wheel of Fortune?’

Despite Sajak's exit,  White said she would stay on the show through 2026 at least. 

White renewed her "Wheel of Fortune" contract for at least two more years.

The news was confirmed by TMZ from exclusive sources who said she received a "substantial pay increase" from the $3 million per year she was reportedly making for nearly two decades. 

RELATED: Vanna White extends ‘Wheel of Fortune’ contract with ‘substantial pay increase’: report

White previously suggested that if she was ever absent, Sajak’s daughter Maggie Sajak would be the right person for the role. 

"I think she's a good replacement if I can't be there for some reason," White said during an interview with E! News. 

Maggie, 28, previously took over White's hosting duties in early May as the latter competed on "Celebrity Wheel of Fortune."

White continued to gush over Maggie and added she brought a certain charm to the game show, just like her father.

"She's precious, she's beautiful, she's very good," White noted. "I think she learned a lot from her father because he's such a good interviewer. I think she's good for our show."

When is Pat Sajak’s last day?

Sajak’s final episode will air on Friday, June 7, according to Deadline.

Sajak will continue to serve as a consultant on the show for three years following his retirement as host.

Why is Pat Sajak retiring?

In June 2023, Sajak announced he was leaving the show, stating that "the time has come."

"Well, the time has come," Sajak wrote in a statement. "I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last. It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all. (If nothing else, it’ll keep the clickbait sites busy!)."

In response to Sajak's exit news, White posted, "When we started @WheelofFortune who could have imagined we’d still be at it 41 seasons later? I couldn’t be happier to have shared the stage with you for all these years with one more to come. Cheers to you, @patsajak!"

Sajak has been nominated for 23 Daytime Emmy Awards, winning three of them, as well as earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2011 Daytime Emmy Awards.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.