'Wheel of Fortune': Pat Sajak Reacts to 'Dear Friend's Exit After 30 Years

Wheel of Fortune is saying goodbye to one of its own. After more than 30 years with the program, contestant co-producer Jackie Lamatis has left the show. On Twitter, Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak honored his "dear friend" by sharing some kind words about her time with the series. 

Sajak took to Twitter on Monday to issue a tribute to Lamatis. He wrote that he was "so sorry to learn" that she was leaving the show after more than 30 years with the production. The host referred to Lamatis as a "dear friend" and added that she was "absolutely amazing" with the contestants. Sajak ended his message by writing, "She will be sorely missed, but I know a lot of good things and happy times lie ahead."

Could Sajak himself follow in Lamatis' footsteps sometime soon? Considering Wheel of Fortune's lengthy tenure on television, there has been speculation that the longtime host may retire from the show. In September 2022, Sajak expressed that he was considering retirement. He told Entertainment Tonight, "In most television shows by this time, you would have said, 'That's probably enough,' but this show will not die." Sajak continued, "It appears I may go before the show."

Sajak is the longest-running host of any game show in the United States. He nabbed the title from the previous record holder, The Price is Right's former host Bob Barker. He continued to reflect on his own legacy to ET, saying, "Years go by fast. We're getting near the end. It's been a long [time]. We're not gonna do this for another 40 years. The end is near. It's an honor to have been in people's living rooms for that long. People were out there welcoming us. We're happy and proud."

Like Sajak, Wheel of Fortune's other longtime personality, Vanna White, has discussed the "end" of the show. When asked about Sajak's retirement comments, she told PEOPLE that she didn't want to consider a future without them on the iconic game show. She said, "I mean, we're a team. That's depressing. I don't even want to think about it." White went on to say, "I just visualize us just being there. I can't think beyond that."