‘Wheel of Fortune’: Pat Sajak Reveals a Major Change to ‘America’s Game’

Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak has revealed a significant change to “America’s Game.” While this shift to the popular game show will not change its outcome, it has added a more personal touch for the contestants. Sajak claimed that the switch has rectified something that has always “bothered” him about the game. Moving forward this will provide a better overall experience to players.

Pat Sajak announced a major change to "Wheel of Fortune."
Pat Sajak | Ricky Middlesworth/ABC via Getty Images

Pat Sajak has hosted ‘Wheel of Fortune’ for 40 years

Sajak has been the host of Wheel of Fortune for 40 years. He replaced the game’s former host, Chuck Woolery after Woolery left the series in Dec. 1981.

Before his work on Wheel, Sajak was a disc jockey and KNBC weatherman. Sajak was picked by series creator, legendary talk show host Merv Griffin to take over as host.  Vanna White joined him in 1983, and the two have hosted the nighttime version of the game show ever since. The duo also hosted the daytime network version for some of its runs and hosted ABC’s Celebrity Wheel of Fortune.

Pat Sajak revealed a major change to ‘America’s Game’

Pat Sajak is the host of Wheel of Fortune.
Pat Sajak | GP/Star Max/GC Images

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Sajak revealed that while the “final spin” will still exist, he will no longer be in charge of it. This change will not affect the overall outcome of the game. Until this point, contestants have watched while Sajak took the final spin for players.

As reported by Entertainment Tonight, Sajak shared that this was something that has “always bothered” him just a little bit. He said he was always in favor of having contestants take that final spin of the game into their own hands.

This critical spin comes at the end of the show when the play is paused on the final puzzle. The dollar amount revealed on that spin is the value each player gets to play for until the puzzle is solved.

“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. We finally got to talking, and said, ‘Look, someone’s spinning the wheel anyway. We’ll save time and just let them spin it,'” he explained.

“So the final spin, at least as far as the host is concerned, is gone,” Sajak added. “But the final spin remains. I’m just not doing it.”

Pat Sajak’s daughter Maggie will join the show as its social correspondent

Maggie Sajak has joined her father Pat on "Wheel of Fortune" as its social correspondent.
Maggie and Pat Sajak | OGUT/Star Max/GC Images

Sajak’s daughter Maggie, 26, will shoot behind-the-scenes clips and interviews with the show’s staff and contestants as the show’s social correspondent. Maggie will share these on the show’s website and social media channels reported Variety.

She’ll also share exclusive videos, behind-the-scenes access, and interviews with the hosts, staff, crew, and contestants across social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

Other changes on Wheel of Fortune include replacing the “Free Play” wedge with a monetary amount of $850. Additionally, a $4,000 bonus will be awarded to contestants who solve all three puzzles in the Triple Toss-Up Round. The total monetary amount a contestant can now win for that round is $10,000.

The minimum amount a player can take home after spinning the Bonus Wheel is now $39,000 to honor the show’s 39th season in syndication.

Wheel of Fortune can be seen weeknights in syndicaiton.