Vanna White and Pat Sajak are game show icons. The stars of Wheel of Fortune will be around for years to come. Do they have a retirement plan in mind? Here’s what we know.
40 Years Together
Sajak and White have put pen to paper on yet another Wheel of Fortune contract extension. Variety reported that the two will stay on the show through 2024. This means they will celebrate their 40th anniversary on the beloved game show.
Sajak also earned a new credit: consulting producer. Not only that but his daughter Maggie is joining the show as a social correspondent. She’ll provide behind-the-scenes looks of Wheel of Fortune on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. This is a banner week in the Sajak household.
The whole show will also see a set redesign and a more modernized arrangement. This extension begs the question: do Sajak and White have an exit strategy? White’s in her sixties and Sajalk in his 70s, so it’s fair to question what the long-term plan is. The press release contained no information about a retirement plan, but previous comments provide some insight.
In 2019, Sajak and White celebrated their 7000th episode of Wheel of Fortune. When they looked back on the occasion, both dwelled on the past and the future. Sajak said his retirement would be “in the single digits” of years from now, although he’s now committed up to the digit 6.
Sajak added, “I’d like to leave while the show’s still popular, and I’d like to leave before people ask me to leave.” He said he wouldn’t leave bitterly, but rather “because it’s time to go.” He refused to suggest any name as a successor.
White had no plans in mind either. She said, “I can’t imagine anybody else on my puzzle board… that’s a scary thought. It’s mine.” Sajak also predicted that the two would leave the show together. That exit won’t likely happen until at least 2024. Hopefully by then Jeopardy! will have sorted its lectern out.
Tabloids Should Shut It
Sajak’s retirement has become a flashpoint for tabloids. Back in May, OK! claimed Sajak was ready to retire because of too many gaffes. The Globe claimed Sajak was threatening to quit over burnout. With this extension on the books, these stories look that much worse.
It’s hard to imagine the game show landscape without the familiar faces of Sajak and White. We won’t have to imagine for a few more years.