Former weatherman Pat Sajak is also a host of game shows, an actor, and a television personality. Sajak is most known for serving as the “Wheel of Fortune” game show’s longtime host. Pat’s yearly pay for his work on “Wheel” is $14 million.
That’s not exactly Pat’s main source of income every year, as we’ll explain further on in this post. Pat and Vanna White both earn more money each year by licensing their likenesses to slot machines at casinos than they do from the game show itself.
Patrick Leonard Sajdak was given the name Pat Sajak on October 26, 1946, in Chicago, Illinois. Son of Joyce Helen and Leonard Anthony Sajdak, he was raised in Chicago. His paternal grandparents were all Polish. Pat’s mother remarried after his father passed away while he was a small boy. Sajak attended Farragut High School and received his diploma in 1964. He attended Columbia College Chicago and worked at the Palmer House hotel’s front desk.
Sajak learned about the need for a news anchor from his broadcasting professor while still a student at the local radio station WEDC. He applied and ultimately was given the 6 a.m. time slot at the station. In 1968, during the Vietnam War, Sajak enlisted in the American Army. He was an Armed Forces Radio DJ while in the Army. While DJing, he mimicked Robin Williams’ character in the film Good Morning, Vietnam! by opening each show with the phrase “Good morning, Vietnam!” As their afternoon personality in Nashville in the early 1970s, Sajak would spin records from three to five in the afternoon.
Sajak relocated to Los Angeles in the late 1970s in search of employment in the entertainment sector. In 1977, he quickly obtained a position as a full-time weatherman at KNBC-TV in Los Angeles.
Wheel Of Fortune
Merv Griffin, the king of game shows, gave Pat the chance to succeed Chuck Woolery as host of Wheel of Fortune in 1981. Unfortunately, Sajak’s potential employment was denied by NBC President Fred Silverman because he was “too local.” In response, Merv Griffin abruptly ended the entire program and halted production of any more episodes until Sajak was hired. For more than 30 years, Sajak has presented the syndicated nightly and daytime episodes of Wheel of Fortune. Also, read about Peter Buchignani
In 2018, Sajak surpassed Bob Barker of Price is Right to become the host of any game show with the longest tenure. On March 22, 2019, Guinness World Records awarded him the title. The Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak’s contract runs through 2022. Pat has received three Emmy awards and a plaque on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work on the show.
In the comedy Airline II: The Sequel from 1982, Sajak made an appearance. He worked as a newscaster in Buffalo, New York. The Pat Sajak Show was Pat’s brief-lived late-night chat show on CBS. When Wheel of Fortune’s daytime edition began to air, he left. Sajak’s sidekick was former co-anchor, Dan Miller. The first episode aired in January 1989, while the last one did so in April 1990.
Between 1984 and 1989, Sajak frequently served as a guest host on Super Password and Password Plus. As a guest host, he appeared on the game programs Just Men! and Dream House. Regis Philbin’s frequent guest host replacement on Live with Regis and Kelly was Sajak. Sajak presented The Pat Sajak Baseball Hour, a nationally syndicated radio sports discussion show, as well as Pat Sajak Weekend on Fox News in 2003. Sajak invested in the Golden Baseball League, a stand-alone professional baseball league, in 2005.
At Hillsdale College in southern Michigan, he is vice chairman and a member of the board of trustees. Sajak serves as an external director for the conservative publishing business Eagle Publishing. Sajak frequently contributes to the ricochet.com conservative blog as a podcaster and poster. In 2010, he started contributing to the National Review Online. Additionally, he is the creator of various puzzle games, the most well-known of which is Lucky Letters from 2007. Also, read about Manny Khoshbin
Sajak was made fun of in an episode of Sesame Street from the 1980s when Pat Playjacks, a puppet, hosted the game show “Squeal of Fortune.” On the sketch comedy programs SCTV and Saturday Night Live in the 1980s, Martin Short based the Pat Sajak character Ed Grimley. Sajak appeared as a special guest star in a 1992’s episode of The Commish. 1993 saw Sajak make appearances on Days of Our Lives and on the kids’ show Rugrats as himself. In 1986, Sajak and Vanna White played versions of themselves in an episode of the NBC sitcom 227. He had an appearance as himself in the comedy The King of Queens in 2001. Pat and Vanna appeared in a season four episode of The A-Team episode.
In December 1989, Sajak wed photographer Lesly Brown Sajak in Annapolis, Maryland. He was previously married from 1979 to 1986 to a woman who was anonymous to the press. Pat and Lesly have two kids together: Patrick Michael James Sajak, a son, was born in 1990, and Maggie Marie Sajak, a daughter, was born in 1995. Maggie is want to be a country artist and she has three singles out. The pair has a primary residence in Severna Park, Maryland, and a secondary residence in Los Angeles.
My apologies to the nice gentleman who wanted to say hello during my morning walk today. My security guys mistakenly thought I said, “Wrestle him to the ground!” instead of, “Please let him through.” Easy mistake. Again…sorry.
— Pat Sajak (@patsajak) October 15, 2022
Pat Sajak acknowledged that he doubts the existence of climate change. He also contributes money to Young America’s Foundation, an organization that works to encourage conservative speakers on university campuses across the country. Family Sajak belongs to the Churches of Christ. Pat had an urgent gastrointestinal procedure to relieve a blockage in November 2019. While he was recovering, Vanna White hosted in his stead. Three weeks later, on December 5, 2019, he went back to work.
Salary Of Pat Sajak
As of this writing, Pat Sajak’s annual pay as the Wheel of Fortune host is $14 million. In contrast, Vanna White makes $10 million annually. Six shows on Wheel of Fortune are taped each day, four days per month. Two Thursdays and two Fridays are taped. They both arrive at 8:30 am on the day of the tape and begin shooting at noon. Three performances are seen by one audience, followed by a lunch break. Three further tapings are being watched by a second audience.
Every month, Pat and Vanna record four days. That amounts to 48 days of work annually to make $15 and $10 million, respectively. Vanna thus makes $208,333 each day of employment. Pat makes $312,500 every day. Vanna White makes $34,722 per episode and Pat Sajak makes $52,083 every show, according to a breakdown.
Revenue from Casino Licensing
It may surprise you to learn that Pat Sajak and Vanna White’s “Wheel of Fortune” salaries aren’t their primary source of income. Pat and Vanna both earn more money by selling the rights to use their likenesses on slot machines in casinos than they do from the game show itself.
Actually, the FIRST entertainment brand to be granted a slot machine license was Wheel of Fortune. The first slot machines bearing the Wheel of Fortune logo were installed at Las Vegas casinos in 1996. They rapidly demonstrated their great success and received licenses from casinos all around the world. Within a decade, most casinos’ highest-grossing slot machines were said to be those bearing the Wheel of Fortune brand. There are 20,000 “Wheel” slot machines on casino floors worldwide, according to estimates. Wheel of Fortune slot machines alone bring in more than $1 billion in gross revenue annually in Las Vegas. Over $2 billion is generated by machines globally.
Is Pat Sajak Leaving Wheel Of Fortune?
Here’s one riddle we never wanted to solve: How long will Pat Sajak continue to host Wheel of Fortune?
In a recent interview with ET, the TV legend, who is presently enjoying his 40th season of selling vowels, makes a strong case that those days may be numbered. Years pass quickly, says Sajak. “The end is almost here. It’s been quite a while. For the next 40 years, we’re not going to do this. The finish is in sight. It’s a privilege to have been in people’s living rooms for so long.”
In most television series by this point, you would have likely concluded, “That’s probably enough,” but this show won’t go away, Sajak admits.
In fact, he quips, “it appears I may go before the show.” For its 40th anniversary this week, Wheel debuted a new LED-screen puzzle board as well as an “XL Week” of shows with the highest prize pools ever.
“I’m looking forward to celebrating all of the ways this show has become a mainstay in so many living rooms, but also to help it expand so we witness its 50th season and beyond,” the new executive producer Bellamie Blackstone said in a statement. A gorgeous new puzzle board is here. We’re attempting to provide the most prizes ever on the syndicated version of the program. But above all, I want our audience to keep enjoying this timeless game while incorporating a few fresh and intriguing twists. We are all anticipating this to be our most successful season yet!
Can you picture a scenario where Sajak doesn’t serve as Wheel’s host?
Pat Sajak Net Worth
Pat Sajak Net Worth is estimated to be around $70 Million in 2022. Pat and Vanna each receive at least $15 million per year in royalties, licensing fees, and other compensation in exchange for granting permission to use their individual faces and likenesses in the slot machines.
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