When “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak stepped away from the show after emergency surgery for a blocked intestine, another Sajak stepped in: his daughter, Maggie Sajak.
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In a clip posted Monday, the show’s longtime letter-runner and stand-in host Vanna White introduced the 25-year-old Maggie Sajak as a “special letter-toucher.” While White said she was “happy to fill in” she said she “could do this even better hosting the show with a Sajak.”
Maggie Sajak told the audience that her father, set to return this month, is doing well.
“From the perspective of his daughter, it was a scary experience,” she said of her father’s November surgery. "But he's doing great, and I know he's so excited to be back next week.”
Pat Sajak was rushed into emergency surgery late last year after experiencing a “horrific pain” in his stomach.
“I didn't know what it [was] but within two and a half hours, I was in surgery,” he said in an interview on “Good Morning America” in December.
In those moments, “you couldn't do anything,” he said. “I was in [a] fetal position, lying on the bed. They try to give you various drugs for the pain. And none of it was working.”
But the surgery was a success and Sajak said he didn’t have to make major life changes.
And he’s not thinking much about retirement now, either. The host, who earns about $15 million a year, according to Forbes, told USA Today last month that while he wants to leave while the show is still popular, he's not “quite there” yet and when he does step away, “it won’t be because I’m sick of it or burned out by it; I’ll leave because it’s time to go."
Both Pat Sajak and White renewed their contracts through 2022.