Richest Celebrities
Net Worth:
$75 Million
$15 Million
Oct 26, 1946 (77 years old)
5 ft 9 in (1.77 m)
Game Show Host, Talk show host, Actor, Radio personality, Film Producer, Television producer
United States of America
💰 Compare Pat Sajak's Net Worth

What is Pat Sajak's net worth and salary?

Pat Sajak is a television personality, actor and game show host who has a net worth of $75 million. Pat Sajak is most famous for being the long term host of the game show "Wheel of Fortune." He has hosted the show since 1981. For his work on "Wheel" Pat earns an annual salary of $15 million. Vanna White's salary is $3 million. As we explain later in this article, Pat and Vanna also make a ton of money every year licensing their image to casino slot machines. For Vanna, she actually makes more from Casino licensing than the her Wheel of Fortune salary. On June 12, 2023 Pat and Sony, the company that owns "Wheel of Fortune," announced that he would retire from the show in 2024. On June 26, 2023, Ryan Seacrest announced he had agreed to take over Pat's hosting duties after the 41st season.

Pat's first foray into media happened when he was attending Columbia College in Chicago in the 1960s, where he was chosen to be a news anchor on the local radio station, WEDC. He joined the Army in 1968 during the Vietnam War, and was a deejay on Armed Forces Radio. When he returned from Vietnam, he continued dj-ing for stations in Kentucky, and Nashville (WSM). It was at WSM's sister station, WSN-TV, where he had his first on-screen opportunity. At WSN-TV, Sajak first served as a voiceover artist doing station identifications, then anchoring five minute newscasts during NBC's Today Show, then serving as a weekend and substitute weatherman. In 1977, Sajak accepted an opportunity to work at Los Angeles's KNBC-TV as a full time weatherman.

In 1981, Merv Griffin, the creator of "Wheel of Fortune" and countless other game shows, asked Sajak if he would like to take over the show's hosting duties from Chuck Woolery, who was the original host. Fred Silverman, then the CEO of NBC, rejected the idea. Merv Griffin threatened to cease all new tapings until Sajak was hired. Sajak was eventually hired in 1981 and has hosted the show ever since. Susan Stafford was his hostess until 1982 when Vanna White took over.

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Pat Sajak Salary

As of this writing, Pat Sajak earns an annual salary of $14 million as host of Wheel of Fortune. For comparison, Vanna White's salary is $10 million. Wheel of Fortune tapes four days per month, six shows per day. They tape two Thursdays and two Fridays. On taping days, they both arrive around 8:30 am and start shooting at noon. One audience watches three shows, then there is a break for lunch. A second audience comes in to watch three more tapings.

Pat and Vanna tape four days per month. That's 48 days per year of work to earn $14 and $10 million per year, respectively. That means Vanna earns $208,333 per workday. Pat earns $312,500 per workday. Breaking it down per show, Pat Sajak earns $52,083 per show and Vanna White earns $34,722 per show.

Casino Licensing Earnings

Believe it or note, Pat Sajak and Vanna White's salaries from "Wheel of Fortune" aren't their largest source of annual income. Both Pat and Vanna make more money licensing their images to casino slot machines than they do from the game show itself.

Wheel of Fortune was actually the FIRST entertainment property to be licensed for use on slot machines. In 1996 the first Wheel of Fortune branded slot machines were placed in casinos in Las Vegas. They quickly proved to be extremely successful and were licensed to casinos around the world. Within a decade, the Wheel of Fortune branded slot machines were reported to be the highest revenue generating slot machines in most casinos. There are an estimated 20,000 "Wheel" slot machines on casinos floors around the world. In Las Vegas alone, Wheel of Fortune slot machines generate over $1 billion per year in gross revenue. Worldwide the machines generate over $2 billion.

In exchange for licensing their respective images and likenesses for the slot machines, Pat and Vanna both earn at least $15 million per year in royalties, licensing fees and other payments.

Early Life

Pat Sajak was born Patrick Leonard Sajdak October 26, 1946 in Chicago, Illinois. He was raised in Chicago and was the son of Joyce Helen and Leonard Anthony Sajdak. All of his grandparents were Polish.  Pat's father died when he was young, and his mother remarried. Sajak went to Farragut High School and graduated in 1964. He went to Columbia College Chicago and worked as a front desk clerk at the Palmer House hotel.

Early Career

While attending college, Sajak's broadcasting instructor told him that the local radio station WEDC was looking for a news anchor. He applied and ended up landing the station's 6 a.m. time slot. Sajak joined the U.S. Army in 1968 during the Vietnam war. While serving in the Army he deejayed on Armed Forces Radio. While DJing, he began each broadcast with the line "Good morning, Vietnam!" just like Robin Williams' character did in the movie of the same name. In the early '70s, Sajak DJ'd in Nashville in the 3:00-5:00 p.m. time slot as their afternoon personality

In the late 1970s Sajak moved to Los Angeles seeking work in the entertainment industry. He soon landed a full-time weatherman position at KNBC-TV in Los Angeles in 1977.

Wheel of Fortune

In 1981, game show impresario Merv Griffin offered Pat the opportunity to take over hosting duties on Wheel of Fortune from Chuck Woolery. Unfortunately, Fred Silverman, the President of NBC at the time, rejected the idea of hiring Sajak for being "too local". In response, Merv Griffin shut the entire show down entirely and refused to film new episodes until Sajak was hired. Sajak has hosted the daytime and syndicated evening versions of Wheel of Fortune for the last 30+ years. In 2018, Sajak became the longest-running host of any game show, even surpassing Price is Right's Bob Barker. He was honored with the title by the Guinness World Records on March 22, 2019. Pat Sajak's contract as host of Wheel of Fortune goes through 2022. For his work on the show, Pat has won three Emmys and was even given a star on Hollywood's walk of fame.

Other Ventures

Sajak appeared in the 1982 comedy film Airline II: The Sequel. His role was as a Buffalo, New York newscaster. Pat had his own short-lived late-night talk show on CBS, The Pat Sajak Show. He left the daytime version of Wheel of Fortune when the show started airing. Dan Miller, a former co-anchor, served as Sajak's sidekick. It premiered in January 1989 and the final show aired in April 1990.

Sajak appeared several times on Super Password as a guest host, as well as Password Plus, from 1984-1989. He also guest-hosted on game shows Dream House and Just Men!. Sajak was a regular substitute guest host for Regis Philbin on Live with Regis and Kelly. In 2003, Sajak hosted Pat Sajak Weekend on Fox News and The Pat Sajak Baseball Hour, a syndicated radio sports talk show. Sajak became an investor in 2005 in the Golden Baseball League, an independent professional baseball league.

He's on the board of trustees and serves as vice chairman at Hillsdale College in southern Michigan. Sajak is an External Director of Eagle Publishing, a conservative publishing house. Sajak is a regular podcast and poster contributor on the conservative blog He began writing for the National Review Online in 2010. He's also the author of several puzzle games, the most well-known being 2007's Lucky Letters.

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Pop Culture

In the '80s, Sajak was parodied on a Sesame Street sketch; a muppet named Pat Playjacks hosted "Squeal of Fortune." Also in the eighties, Martin Short based a character off Pat Sajak, Ed Grimley, on the sketch comedy shows SCTV and Saturday Night Live. In 1992, Sajak had a special guest star role in the television show The Commish.  In 1993, Sajak appeared on Days of Our Lives as well as appearing as himself on the children's cartoon Rugrats. Sajak and Vanna White portrayed themselves in an episode of NBC sitcom 227 in 1986. In 2001, he appeared as himself on the sitcom The King of Queens. In an episode of season four on The A-Team, Pat and Vanna made a cameo.

Personal Life

Sajak married photographer Lesly Brown Sajak in December 1989 in Annapolis, Maryland. He was previously married to an unknown-to-the-press woman from 1979-1986. Pat and Lesly have two children together, a son, Patrick Michael James Sajak, born in 1990, and a daughter, Maggie Marie Sajak, born in 1995. Maggie is an aspiring country singer who has released three singles.

Pat Sajak has admitted to being a climate change skeptic. He also financially supports Young America's Foundation, which aims to sponsor conservative speakers on college campuses across the nation. The Sajak family are members of the Churches of Christ. In November 2019, Pat underwent emergency bowel surgery to remove a blockage. Vanna White hosted in his place while he was in recovery. He returned to work three weeks later, on December 5, 2019.

Real Estate

In June 1988 Pat paid $1.895 million for a home in the LA suburb of Encino. The 6-bedroom, 6-bathroom home is nearly 7,000 square feet and sits on 3.9 acres of property. Today this home is likely worth $7-10 million.

In 1991 Pat and Lesly paid $1.275 million for a 3-acre, waterfront property in Severna Park, Maryland. They proceeded to construct a 6,500 square foot mansion.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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