‘Wheel of Fortune’ Host’s SHOCKING Daily Salary Revealed

in Disney, Entertainment, Featured, Movies & TV

A man in a black suit stands smiling with open arms behind an illuminated podium. In the background, another older man is pictured, pointing, with colorful balloons and festive imagery that includes the text "Price is Right." This wild tradition has captivated millions of fans over the years.

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In the age of television and streaming, viewers aren’t at all surprised at the exorbitant salaries amassed by popular Hollywood film actors, actresses, and professional athletes.

Split image: Left side shows two American football players in action on the field, one in a red jersey and one in a blue jersey. Right side features two smiling men, including the host of "Wheel of Fortune," standing in front of a "Hollywood" backdrop, one wearing a suit and the other in a casual shirt.
Credit: Inside the Magic

However, when it comes to radio and television personalities, the proverbial playing field changes a bit, and many of us are surprised–whether pleasantly or otherwise–to hear how much a radio morning show personality earns in a year.

But the payout earned by one television personality is so shocking that you might not believe it’s real, especially given that this personality has never starred in a Hollywood blockbuster, made the winning touchdown in an NFL game, or shocked the airwaves with his expletive-laden take on the most recently publicized United States political blunder.

Instead, he’s a now-former game show host and former weatherman from Chicago who quite literally built his career one letter at a time.

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

As the graduation season wraps up, thoughts and conversations are turning toward the future as many recent high school grads prepare to take the next step of their journeys at various colleges and universities across the country.

Four graduates in caps and gowns stand arm in arm, facing away from the camera towards a brightly lit horizon. They hold their diplomas, symbolizing accomplishment and a new beginning, much like contestants stepping forward after winning on "Wheel of Fortune." The background features a road and a vibrant, radiant sky.
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As soon-to-be college freshmen begin the arduous task of selecting classes for the fall semester, the question they’ve been asked for years in an effort to spur on their individuality becomes more poignant than ever before: What do you want to be when you grow up?

“Wheel of Fortune” Host Pat Sajak

Years ago, when celebrity game show host Pat Sajak was enrolling at Columbia College Chicago, it would have been interesting to ask him the very same question, wait for his answer, and compare it to how things played out in his life as his life likely played out very differently than he had planned.

A man in a black suit, white shirt, and striped tie stands in front of the Wheel of Fortune set. Colorful lights and part of a spinning wheel with numbers are visible in the background. The man is smiling and appears to be hosting or presenting on the show.
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And for Sajak, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Born in Chicago in 1946, Pat Sajak graduated from high school and, shortly thereafter, began to further his education at Columbia College Chicago. While he took classes at the college, he worked as a desk clerk at The Palmer House Hilton Hotel. Then, in 1968, at the age of 22, Sajak joined the army and was sent to Vietnam, where he worked for more than a year with Armed Forces Radio in Saigon.

A cheerful person with short, light-colored hair is smiling brightly while holding an old-fashioned microphone close to their face. They are wearing a headset and are in front of a backdrop featuring red and white stripes, entertaining millions of fans.
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Interestingly enough, Sajak’s first public role was that of announcer with the Armed Forces Radio, starting each morning in Saigon shouting to the troops, “Good Morning, Vietnam!” just as actor Robin Williams did in the film by the same name.

Sajak Leaves the Army and Begins His Career in Television

Upon his return home from Vietnam, Sajak began working for a small radio station in Kentucky before moving to Nashville, Tennessee, where he broke into television. He began as a staff announcer for WSM-TV before becoming a weatherman for KNBC-TV in Los Angeles in 1977 after being seen by a talent agent in Nashville.

A man in a brown suit and tie stands next to a woman wearing a pink one-shoulder dress. They both smile at the camera, evoking the charm of a Wheel of Fortune host, with a festive background that includes a decorative poster and a wreath.
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Then, in 1981, Wheel of Fortune creator Merv Griffin chose Sajak to host the show during its daytime edition, and in 1983, the show moved to its new primetime television slot, and both Sajak and the show remained there until Friday evening, June 7, when Sajak gave the wheel his forever “one final spin.”

A colorful wheel with various sections, each marked with two large numbers, the majority of which are zeros. The wheel has a green center and is brightly lit, set against a backdrop that is out of focus. It appears to be for a game or lottery enjoyed by millions of fans as a wild tradition.
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For his efforts, Sajak has earned three Outstanding Game Show Host Emmy Awards, a People’s Choice Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In June 2011, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored him with the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award, and in April 2018, he was inducted into the NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

What Did Sajak Earn As the Host of “Wheel of Fortune?”

According to FOX10 Phoenix, Sajak earned $14 million per year for hosting Wheel of Fortune, but that’s not the extent of the income he received for his “wheel” efforts, and it’s not the extent of his net worth:

While Sajak makes $14 million a year from his hosting gig salary, the host earns more from licensing his image to “Wheel of Fortune” slot machines globally, Celebrity Net Worth reported. 

Sajak has earned at least $15 million a year from royalties, licensing fees, and other payments related to licensing his image to around 20,000 “Wheel of Fortune” slot machines in casinos around the world since 1996, according to the site.

Three contestants stand behind podiums on the set of the game show "Wheel of Fortune," a wild 43-year tradition cherished by millions of fans. The colorful wheel is in the foreground with various numbers and slots, while the host stands on the left, engaging with the contestants. The backdrop shows an outdoor scene with trees and buildings.
Credit: Disney/ABC

The host’s salary doesn’t sound quite as large as it does when you consider that Sajak and his co-host Vanna White only taped shows four days out of the month, meaning Sajak only worked as a host on those four days. Therefore, Sajak earned more in one taping day than many people earn in a year: $291,666 per day.

How’s that for game show winnings?

in Disney, Entertainment, Featured, Movies & TV

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