Pat Sajak Credits ‘Wheel of Fortune’ With Making Him A Better Father


After over four decades of representing one of America’s definitive game shows, Pat Sajak has bowed out as host of Wheel of Fortune. But while he shaped the way fans see and think of the game show, Wheel of Fortune also impacted Sajak by allowing him to be a better father, according to the retired host.

Sajak began hosting Wheel of Fortune in 1981, recruited by show creator Merv Griffin himself. Partnered with Vanna White, he would appear on the gameshow for 41 years before announcing his impending retirement in 2023. Over the years, he balanced work with family life, an endeavor that Wheel of Fortune actually made quite enjoyable.


Pat Sajak says ‘Wheel of Fortune’ let him be a better father

Pat Sajak was able to be a better father thanks to the flexibility Wheel of Fortune afforded him / Instagram

Together with his wife, photographer Lesly Brown-Sajak, Sajak has two children: 33-year-old Patrick and 29-year-old Maggie. Filming schedules can spell doom for family time, but for Sajak, Wheel of Fortune allowed him to be the father he wanted to for his kids.


RELATED: Vanna White Gives Emotional Farewell Tribute To Co-Host Pat Sajak As He Ends His Tenure On ‘Wheel Of Fortune’

Ahead of his final episode on Wheel, Sajak sat down for an interview conducted by his daughter Maggie, who has served as a social media correspondent for the show; in the past, she also served as letter turner while White filled in as host.

“I like to say that I’ve had 40 years of a part-time job — pretending it was full-time,” mused Sajak during the interview. “I could watch you guys grow up and go to the games and all that kind of stuff that work might have taken me away from.”

He added, “I mean, you’ve been a part of this show forever. I dragged you out when you were one year old and we were in Hawaii.”

Balancing family and fame

Sajak has suggested he worked a part-time job / MJT/AdMedia

Maggie shared her own two cents on Sajak as a father and a host, acknowledging that he had a “nontraditional job” with a “nontraditional schedule.” But it was exactly that unorthodox setup, she noted, that allowed Sajak to actually be present and, thus, “really raise” her and Patrick.

He and White were an iconic pair for over four decades / © Sony Pictures TV / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Although he’s retired as host, Sajak will stay on as a consultant for the show, which will now be shepherded by Ryan Seacrest starting next season. But Sajak is also planning on focusing even more on family time now that he won’t be taping episodes for much of the year.

Indeed, while chatting with Maggie, he hinted heavily that he’s ready to become a grandfather. “I’m perfectly happy if it just means that I’ll continue with my crossword puzzles and play with grandchildren,” he said, before not-so-subtly adding “Hint hint hint. No pressure.” Currently, Maggie is in a relationship with Ross McCall, a courtship she balances between overseeing much of Wheel’s online presence.

Pat Sajak shares two children, Patrick and Maggie, with his current wife Lesly Brown / YouTube screenshot

RELATED: Pat Sajak Scores A New Gig After Retiring From ‘Wheel Of Fortune’

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