In a recent episode of the beloved game show "Wheel of Fortune," longtime host Pat Sajak had a surprising scare when a contestant's enthusiastic reaction caused him to jump and throw his prize card in the air. The humorous incident occurred during the final round of the show, when contestant Laryn Nelson, an elementary school principal from Atlanta, had 10 seconds to solve the puzzle. After several incorrect guesses, Nelson was defeated by the buzzer. The correct answer, "Obtaining my goals," was then revealed on the letter board. Nelson, in good spirits, joked, "That's okay. I'm going to do that one day though, obtaining my goals." Sajak, playing along, quipped, "There's really no need for a host on this show. Just let them do it."
However, the surprise didn't end there. As Sajak opened the prize card, Nelson let out a loud scream, scaring the host and causing him to jump. The video of the incident was shared on "Wheel of Fortune's" official social media account, sparking amusement among fans. Nelson would have won a brand-new Volkswagen car, but she still took home $24,250 in winnings. After apologizing to Sajak, he reassured her, saying, "It's all right. I'll be fine."
While the incident provided entertainment for viewers, it also sparked controversy among fans regarding the final puzzle. Many expressed dissatisfaction with the phrase "Obtaining my goals," deeming it an unusual choice. Some suggested alternatives like "Achieving my goals" or "Meeting my goals," arguing that they were more commonly used expressions. Social media was flooded with comments criticizing the decision, with fans calling the puzzle “garbage” and "horrible."
The incident came at a significant time for "Wheel of Fortune" as host Pat Sajak had recently announced his retirement from the show after hosting it for over four decades. Sajak took to social media to express his gratitude for the experience, stating that "it's been a wonderful ride" but that the current season would be his last. Season 41 would mark the end of Sajak and co-host Vanna White's partnership on the show.
With Sajak's retirement on the horizon, the question of who would succeed him as host arose. It was announced that Ryan Seacrest, known for his hosting role on "American Idol," would be taking over as the new host of "Wheel of Fortune" starting in 2024. Prior to the announcement, there were suggestions from fans that Vanna White should take over as host, with Sajak's daughter, Maggie, stepping into White's role. However, White reportedly has no plans to retire and is currently in negotiations to renew her contract.
Seacrest expressed his admiration for White in a recent interview, stating that he would love to host alongside her. He praised White's long-standing contribution to the show and expressed hope for the opportunity to work with her in the future. The status of White's involvement in the show beyond 2024 remains uncertain, as contract negotiations are ongoing.
As "Wheel of Fortune" prepares for its new era with Ryan Seacrest as host, the recent scare experienced by Pat Sajak has added a memorable moment to the show's history. Fans eagerly anticipate the upcoming changes and await further updates on the future of the beloved game show.