Pat Sajak’s Net Worth and Salary
Pat Sajak is a former weatherman who is now a TV personality, actor, and game show host with a net worth of $70 million. Sajak is best known for his long tenure as the host of the game show “Wheel of Fortune.” Pat receives a yearly salary of $14 million for his work on “Wheel.”
That is not Pat’s primary source of income each year, as we will see later in this article. Pat and Vanna White make more money licensing their images to casino slot machines than they do from the game show yearly.
On October 26, 1946, Patrick Leonard Sajdak was born in Chicago, Illinois. He grew up in Chicago, the son of Joyce Helen and Leonard Anthony Sajdak. His grandparents were all Polish. Pat’s father passed away when he was a child, and his mother remarried. Farragut High School’s class of 1964 saw Sajak graduate. He attended and worked at Columbia College Chicago as a receptionist at the Palmer House Hotel.
Beginnings of a Career
While in school, Sajak’s broadcasting instructor informed him that the local radio station WEDC was looking for a news anchor in college. He applied and was given the 6 a.m. time slot at the station. During the Vietnam War, Sajak joined the United States Army.
While in the Army, he worked as a DJ on Armed Forces Radio. He began each broadcast while DJing with the phrase “Good morning, Vietnam!” in the same way that Robin Williams’ character did in the film of the same name. In the early 1970s, Sajak worked as an afternoon DJ in Nashville from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
In search of better entertainment opportunities, Sajak relocated to Los Angeles in late 1970. He landed a full-time weatherman position at KNBC-TV in 1977 in Los Angeles.
1981, Pat received an invitation from game show tycoon Merv Griffin to succeed Chuck Woolery as host of Wheel of Fortune. Unfortunately, Fred Silverman, NBC’s President then, rejected the idea of hiring Sajak because he was “too local.” Merv Griffin responded by shutting down the show and refusing to film new episodes until Sajak was hired.
For 30 years, Sajak has hosted the daytime and syndicated evening versions of Wheel of Fortune. In 2018, Sajak surpassed Price is Right’s Bob Barker as the longest-running host of any game show. On March 22, 2019, Guinness World Records awarded him the title.
Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak’s contract expires in 2022. Pat has received three Emmys and a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame for his work on the show.
Sajak appeared in the 1982 comedy film Airline II: The Sequel. In Buffalo, New York, he worked as a newscaster. Pat had his own CBS late-night talk show, The Pat Sajak Show, which aired briefly. He left when the daytime version of Wheel of Fortune debuted. Dan Miller, a former co-anchor, played Sajak’s sidekick. It premiered in January 1989 and ran until April 1990.
From 1984 to 1989, Sajak appeared as a guest host on Super Password and Password Plus. He also appears as a guest host in the Dream House and Just Men shows. Sajak was a regular guest replacing host for Regis Philbin on Live with Regis and Kelly in the front 2003.
Sajak hosted the Pat Sajak Weekend and Pat Sajak Baseball Hour, a syndicated radio sports talk show. Sajak invested in the Golden Baseball League, an independent professional baseball league, in 2005.
At Hillsdale College in southern Michigan, Sajak serves as vice chairman of the board of trustees. He participates in the trustee board at Hillsdale College in southern Michigan and as vice chairman.
Eagle Publishing, a conservative publishing house, employs Sajak as an External Director. Sajak is a contributor to the traditional blog ricochet.com and a regular podcast host. He started supplying content to the National Review Online in 2010. He authored several puzzle games, the most well-known of which is 2007’s Lucky Letters.
In the 1980s, a Sesame Street sketch featured a muppet named Pat Playjacks hosting “Squeal of Fortune.” On the sketch comedy shows SCTV and Saturday Night Live in the 1980s, Martin Short based a character on Pat Sajak and Ed Grimley. On the television program The Commish in 1992, Sajak made a special guest appearance.
Sajak did appear on Days of Our Lives and in the children’s cartoon Rugrats. In 1986, Sajak and Vanna White played themselves in an episode of the NBC sitcom 227. He made an appearance as himself on the sitcom The King of Queens in 2001. Pat and Vanna appeared in a season four episode of The A-fourth Team.
In December 1989, Sajak married photographer Lesly Brown Sajak in Annapolis, Maryland. Pat was married to an unknown from 1979 to 1986, to the press woman.
Pat and Lesly have two children: Patrick Michael James Sajak, born in 1990, and Maggie Marie Sajak, born in 1995. Maggie is a budding country singer, three singles out. Aside from one being in Los Angeles, California, the couple’s residences are both in Severna Park, Maryland.
Pat Sajak has stated his doubts about climate change. He also gives to Young America’s Foundation, which hosts conservative speakers on college campuses. The Sajaks are members of the Christendom Churches. Pat had a medical emergency.
He underwent Bowel surgery to clear a blockage. While he was recovering, Vanna White hosted in his place. On December 5, 2019, he returned to work three weeks later.
Salary of Pat Sajak
Pat Sajak’s annual salary as the host of Wheel of Fortune is $14 million as of this writing. Vanna White’s yearly salary is $10 million. Wheel of Fortune tapes six shows per day, four days per month. Every week, they record on two Thursdays and two Fridays. On taping days, they arrive around 8:30 a.m. and begin filming at noon. One audience watches three shows before taking a lunch break. A second audience comes to witness three more tapings.
Only four days a month, Pat and Vanna record that equates to 48 days of work per year to earn $15 and $10 million per year, respectively. Vanna earns $208,333 per day. Pat is paid $312,500 per day. Pat Sajak charges $52,083, and Vanna White earns $34,722 per show.
Earnings from Casino Licensing
Believe it or not, Pat Sajak and Vanna White’s “Wheel of Fortune” salaries aren’t their primary source of income.
Wheel of Fortune was the first entertainment property licensed for slot machines. The first slots bearing the Wheel of Fortune logo in Las Vegas casinos were installed in 1996. They quickly became prevalent and were permitted to casinos worldwide.
The Wheel of Fortune-branded slot machines reportedly became the most lucrative machines in most casinos within a decade. Around the world, there are 20,000 “Wheel” slot machines in casinos. Wheel of Fortune slot machines alone generate over $1 billion in gross revenue per year in Las Vegas. Over $2 billion is caused by the devices worldwide.
Pat and Vanna earn at least $15 million per year in royalties, licensing fees, and other payments. Their earnings also include licensing their respective images and likenesses for the slot machines.