How Pat Sajak Said Goodbye to 'Wheel of Fortune'

Pat Sajak

There was a lot to do on Pat Sajak's last episode of Wheel of Fortune, so naturally a few changes had to be made to the iconic game. After introducing the three contestants, Sajak revealed that they would be cutting out a round. To make up for it, he spun the wheel and said he'd add a thousand dollars to whatever it landed on and hand it out to all three players. When it landed on a thousand, he decided he'd just give all three contestants five thousand dollars since it's not his money anymore.

From there, the game proceeded mostly as usual, minus that one round. Contestant Adrienne dominated the game and won nearly $80,000 in the end after solving her bonus round. She also won a trip to Finland, and Sajak joked, "We did that trip because tonight, I'm finished."

Sajak then took a moment to address the audience.

How Pat Sajak Said Goodbye to Wheel of Fortune 

"Well, the time has come to say goodbye," he said. "And I want to start with all of you watching out there. It's been an incredible privilege to be invited into millions of homes night after night, year after year, decade after decade. And I've always felt that privilege came with the 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 learn 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 of that. Thank you for allowing me into your lives."

Related: Who Is Pat Sajak's Daughter Maggie Sajak? 

He went on to reflect on how much he loved meeting three new contestants during every game, and how cool it was that he got to learn so much about their lives. He thanked the crew and staff of the show, and spoke about how much he loved working alongside his "kind and caring and humble" daughter, Maggie Sajak. Then, he ended with a tribute to his costar Vanna White.

"Dear Vanna, like me, she takes the show very seriously, but not herself," he said, praising how "unassuming" she is, and wondering what the past 40 years might have been like if she were more of a "prima donna." Luckily, he said, they live about five miles away from each other, so their friendship continues.

Related: Vanna White's Shocking Net Worth! The 'Wheel' Star Flips Letters and Houses

White paid tribute to Sajak on Thursday's episode of the hit game show and teared up as she spoke about their years working together.

"8,000 episodes went by like that, when I first started, I was so green," she said. "You made me so comfortable and made me so confident, Pat. You made me who I am, you really did."

She spoke about their "unforgettable" journey in front of the camera and behind the scenes, and said he was like a brother.

"And I consider you a true, lifelong friend who I will always adore," she concluded. "I love you, Pat."

Wheel of Fortune will return in the fall with White still at the letter board, while Ryan Seacrest will take over as host.

Next, What to Expect From 'Wheel of Fortune' Season 42: Everything We Know So Far