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Pat Sajak says his hosting career on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ is winding down after 40 years

The word game show started in 1975 and Sajak became host in 1981.

Pat Sajak will soon call out letters on "Wheel of Fortune" for the last time after 40 years of hosting the word game show, he said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Sajak said he's also proud of the show for withstanding the test of time.

Pat Sajak on the set of Wheel of Fortune.
Pat Sajak on the set of Wheel of Fortune.Eric McCandless / Getty Images

“In most television shows by this time, you would have said, ‘that’s probably enough,’ but this show will not die. It appears I may go before the show,” he joked.

The show started in 1975 and Sajak became host in 1981. In his role, he's been nominated for 19 Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host and has won three. He's known for his charisma and witty jokes while contestants try to guess the right letters.

Sajak did not specify when he would be retiring from the show. But he did say who he wanted to guest star before his impending departure. The upcoming "Celebrity Wheel of Fortune" game is Sept. 25, and he wants Meryl Streep to join.

“I’m still pulling for Meryl Streep ‘cause I wan to see her say, ‘Come on, big money!’” he says, before joking, “That’s all I want, but she won’t come on because she found out you can’t win an Oscar for this.”

Sajak said the earnings go to charity, and that should be enough to woo even Streep, and the other A-list celebrities who have already signed up.

“We wouldn’t do this for charity unless we wanted the charities to do well,” Sajak said, “so we try to stack as much as we can in that regard.”