Pat Sajak Jokes About Why Wheel Of Fortune Is Making A Change This Season, Then Gives Honest Reason

Pat Sajak discusses Wheel of Fortune's Final Spin

Wheel of Fortune Season 39 has finally arrived and, with it, come a number of changes. The iconic game show received a serious makeover this year, which included a brand new set and altered music choices. There were also a few changes to the rules of the game itself, one of which may be especially surprising to viewers. Longtime host Pat Sajak recently gave some funny thoughts on the change-up, before providing the honest reason for the adjustment.

This year, Wheel of Fortune opted to remove the Final Spin from the game. Previously, Pat Sajak was in charge of spinning the wheel one last time ahead of the final round but, now, the player that’s in control at the moment will have the ability to do it. While speaking with his daughter Maggie, Wheel’s new social correspondent, Sajak initially joked about it, comparing it to another past change on the show. But his genuine response was honestly pretty thoughtful:

Remember when Vanna used to turn the letters? Well, she complained… the work was way too hard, the workload. So now, they just light up. I too got… no, I’m lying about that. 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, and we finally got to talking and we said, ‘Look, someone’s spinning the wheel anyway. We’ll save time, we’ll just let them spin it.

In some instances, game shows can be improved thanks to the power they give their contestants, so it makes sense that he would want to give them more power within the game. It’s sure to be a welcome change to those actually playing the game, and Sajak is hopefully that viewers at home will also accept it:

So the Final Spin, as far as the host is concerned, is gone, but the Final Spin remains. I’m just not doing it. I hope that’s a satisfactory explanation.

Pat Sajak, who has served as the host of Wheel of Fortune for 40 years, is clearly cerebral when it comes to the inner workings of the game. So one can honestly appreciate his rationale in changing the dynamics of the Final Spin. Interestingly enough, during the same conversation, he also answered a question about the spin that’s apparently come up a number of times over the years:

This is the question I get almost as much as “can I buy a vowel?” It’s “When you do the Final Spin, why do you never hit a Bankrupt or Lose a Turn out there?” The fact is, I did when I was doing it, but what’s the point of showing that? We’re already running short of time because obviously, we’re in a Final Spin situation, so why eat up time. ... So we just edit those spins out, and we’ll do the same now that the players are doing the Final Spin.

Wheel of Fortune’s wave of change will likely take some getting used to. During the season premiere, a number of fans took to social media to address their dislike of the new motif. Still, there’s always a chance that the new Final Spin, the altered music and other adjustments will grow on viewers over time.

Wheel of Fortune airs daily in syndication.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.