Why Wheel of Fortune's Pat Sajak Was Mysteriously Absent From Bonus Round Puzzle

Wheel of Fortune fans are buzzing after Pat Sajak went MIA at the end of the April 26 episode. Find out why he was temporarily replaced by announcer Jim Thornton.

By Jess Cohen Apr 27, 2023 12:22 PMTags
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We've solved this puzzle.

Wheel of Fortune viewers found themselves doing a double take during the April 26 episode of the ABC game show when host Pat Sajak suddenly went MIA, leaving the show's announcer Jim Thornton to take over for the final bonus round.

"Where is Pat Sajak for the final puzzle?" one fan tweeted, while another asked, "Where did Pat Sajak go for the last segment of tonight's show?"

So, what happened? Well, it turns out, the contestant who made it to the bonus round, Sarah, is a big fan of the Wheel of Fortune announcer, so the show decided to have Pat and Jim temporarily swap places.

"I love Jim Thornton so much," Sarah told Pat earlier in the show. "And how could someone not? His voice is so soothing and energizing. He's hilarious and just such a good person."

"When I don't hear his voice I worry about him," she added. "So, I'm so glad he's here."

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The Wheel of Fortune Instagram account even teased the swap, writing, "If only we could figure out a way for Sarah and Jim to meet..."

And they did! For the final puzzle, Pat headed to the announcer's booth and Jim took the spot on the stage next to Sarah.

And although Sarah didn't end up solving the final puzzle—missing out on the $40,000 prize—it was still a special moment for her.

"I had so much fun," she told Jim. "And we got to do it together!"

Wheel of Fortune / ABC

Take a look at the sweet Wheel of Fortune swap above!

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