Ryan Seacrest In The Lead As Possible Replacement For Pat Sajak On 'Wheel Of Fortune'

How Pat Sajak Unknowingly Predicted Ryan Seacrest As His 'Wheel Of Fortune' Successor

Home / Stars / How Pat Sajak Unknowingly Predicted Ryan Seacrest As His 'Wheel Of Fortune' Successor

By Afouda Bamidele on July 1, 2023 at 1:00 PM EDT

Pat Sajak may have predicted his "Wheel of Fortune" successor!

Following the announcement of 48-year-old Ryan Seacrest as the game host's replacement on the decades-long show, Sajak's prediction of the event has been uncovered.

The longtime "American Idol" host's name was first mentioned as the celeb to take over after the show's upcoming 41st season shortly after his predecessor shared news of his retirement earlier this month.

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Pat Sajak Might Have Predicted Ryan Seacrest's 'Wheel Of Fortune' Appointment 

Earlier this week, Sony Pictures Television confirmed that Seacrest, who has experience as a disc jockey and a talk show host, would take over the "Wheel of Fortune" stage from its 42nd season in 2024. Reacting to the news, the "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" producer shared in a statement posted to Instagram:

"I'm truly humbled to be stepping into the footsteps of the legendary Pat Sajak. I can say, along with the rest of America, that it's been a privilege and pure joy to watch Pat and Vanna on our television screens for an unprecedented 40 years, making us smile every night and feel right at home with them."

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Ryan Seacrest at Tribeca Film Festival Opening Night - 'Halftime' Premiere
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After noting that he loved how Sajak "always celebrated the contestants and made viewers at home feel at ease," the former "Live with Kelly and Ryan" co-host stated that he looked forward to "learning everything" he could from his predecessor "during this transition." 

He then referred to the appointment as "a full circle moment" since one of his first jobs involved hosting a game show named "Click" for Merv Griffin, who also masterminded the creation of "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune." "I can't wait to continue the tradition of spinning the wheel and working alongside the great Vanna White," Seacrest concluded.

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Amid the giddy atmosphere, PEOPLE revealed that a 2012 recording from the beloved game show resurfaced on social media on Wednesday. In the clip, a contestant's request for a vowel resulted in Sajak responding, "'You spun the wheel, you have to ask for a consonant."

Realizing his mistake, the 76-year-old corrected himself, expressing, "Oh wait, you spun a free play; I'm an idiot. You see, the way it works is if you land… Nevermind. Is there an 'E' in the puzzle?" The occasional actor soon faced another challenge when another contestant spun the wheel, and it landed on a trip to Arizona.'

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The participant then asked for an 'N,' prompting the Chicago-born celeb to admit that he was unsure about that letter being in the puzzle. "Seacrest is on speed dial," the father-of-two joked when the contender picked up the letter for the trip. 

'The Pat Sajak Show' Host Has A Job In Academia Following Exit

Before Seacrest was named his replacement, The Blast reported that Sajak had already lined up his next gig in academia. As it turned out, the graduate of Columbia College Chicago will continue as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Hillsdale College.

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Pat Sajak Sets His Sights On Academia After Saying Goodbye To 'Wheel Of Fortune'
Instagram | wheeloffortune

The conservative private academy verified the occurrence in an emailed statement from its spokesperson Emily Stack Davis. Dated Friday, June 16, Davis began in the message:

"For decades, Pat Sajak has been an icon of radio and television. We know that he will be missed and congratulate him on his well-deserved retirement. Hillsdale College is fortunate to have an even closer relationship with Mr. Sajak. Since 2019, we have benefitted from his wisdom, intellect, and good humor as chairman of Hillsdale's board of trustees."

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She added that the school looked forward to continuing their "important work together and to what we are sure will be a bright future for Mr. Sajak and his family." The last time staff of Hillsdale College publicly applauded the "Airplane II: The Sequel" star was in 2019 when he was promoted to chairman.

At the time, the school's President, Larry P. Arnn, declared that Sajak "is a man of calm and steady judgment, also possessed of a wicked wit," who was "devoted" to actualizing "the purposes of the college." Similarly, the "Lucky Letters" author raved about the promotion, claiming:

"I'm in an industry where we're always patting each other on the backs for different awards we've won but this one is at the top of my list."

Sajak previously served as the board's vice-chair for 15 years.

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