Television host and actor Patrick Leonard Sajdak are known simply as “Pat Sajak” in the United States. Sajak is well-known to television audiences as the show’s long-running host of Wheel of Fortune. Pat Sajak has been nominated for 19 Daytime Emmys as Outstanding Game Show Host during the course of his career presenting Wheel of Fortune, and he has won the award three times.
Wheel of Fortune has been hosted by Pat Sajak for 84 years, and it continues to draw massive audiences because grandparents and parents all over the world are too sluggish to switch off the TV after Jeopardy! So, yes, our pal Pat is filthy rich now. What exactly is hiding in his bank account is rather debatable, but here is what we know about it.
Pat Sajak: Early Life
Patrick Leonard Sajdak was born on October 26, 1946, in Chicago, Illinois. He is better known as Pat Sajak. He is the son of Joyce Helen and Leonard Anthony Sajdak and grew up in Chicago. His paternal and paternal-great grandparents were all Polish.
When Pat was young, his father passed away, and his mother later married another. Sajak graduated in 1964 from Farragut High School. He attended Columbia University and now works as a receptionist at Chicago’s Palmer House hotel.
Pat Sajak’s Net Worth
Pat Sajak has accumulated a net worth of $70 million as a result of his work as a television meteorologist, actor, game show presenter, and in other related fields. As the longtime host of “Wheel of Fortune,” Sajak has become a household name. Pat’s pay for “Wheel” is $14 million each year.
|Net Worth:||$70 Million|
|Date of Birth:||Oct 26, 1946 (75 years old)|
|Height:||5 ft 9 in (1.77 m)|
|Profession:||Game Show Host, Talk show host, Actor, Radio personality, Film Producer, Television producer|
|Nationality:||United States of America|
As we will see below, that is not Pat’s primary annual revenue source. The Whites earn more each year from licensing their likeness to slot machines in casinos than they do from hosting the game show itself.
Sajak got the job as a news anchor at WEDC after hearing about it from his broadcasting professor in college. He put in an application and now has the 6 a.m. slot at the station. In the midst of the Vietnam War, Sajak enlisted in the United States Army in the same year, 1968. He was a DJ for Armed Forces Radio while he was in the military.
He was a DJ, and he always started his shows with “Good morning, Vietnam!” like Robin Williams’ character did in the hit movie of the same name. Sajak was the afternoon host on a Nashville radio station in the early 1970s.
His shift ran from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Sajak relocated to the Los Angeles area in the late 1970s in search of a career in the film and television industry. After graduating from college in 1977, he worked as a part-time meteorologist until landing a full-time job at KNBC-TV in Los Angeles.
The TV Game Show “Wheel of Fortune”
Game show mogul Merv Griffin approached Pat in 1981 about replacing Chuck Woolery as the host of Wheel of Fortune. Unfortunately, Fred Silverman, the President of NBC at the time, turned down the idea of hiring Sajak because he was “too local.”
So, Merv Griffin canceled the show and refused to shoot any more episodes until Sajak was recruited. For over 30 years, Sajak has presided over broadcasts of Wheel of Fortune on both daytime and primetime syndicated broadcasts. In 2018, Sajak surpassed Bob Barker as the longest-serving host of any game show.
The Guinness Book of Records recognized him as such on March 22, 2019. Pat Sajak is locked up as the host of Wheel of Fortune until 2022. Pat has received three Emmy Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the show.
Salary of Pat Sajak
Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak reportedly pulls in $14 million per year. Vanna White, by contrast, makes $10 million annually. The average monthly taping schedule for Wheel of Fortune is four days. They record every other Thursday and every other Friday.
They both show up at 8:30 am on filming days and work until lunch. Three performances are seen by the same crowd, followed by a meal break. Three further tapings are seen by a second audience.
In a typical month, Pat and Vanna record for four days. A yearly salary of $15 million requires working only 48 days, whereas a salary of $10 million requires working only 36 days. Assuming a full day’s work, Vanna would bring in $208,333. Pat’s daily rate of pay is $312,500. In terms of how much they make per episode, Pat Sajak pulls in $52,083 and Vanna White pulls in $34,722.
In December of 1989, in Annapolis, Maryland, Sajak wed photojournalist Lesly Brown Sajak. Before his current wife, he was married to a woman who remained anonymous in the media from 1979 to 1986. Together, Pat and Lesly have had two children: son Patrick Michael James Sajak (born in 1990) and daughter Maggie Marie Sajak (born in 1995).
Maggie has recorded three tracks and is trying to make it as a country singer. The pair has a residence in both Severna Park, Maryland, and Los Angeles, California. Pat Sajak has come clean about his skepticism on climate change. In addition, he provides financial backing to Young America’s Foundation, an organization with the stated mission of sponsoring conservative speakers at universities across the country.
The Sajaks attend various Christian congregations. Pat had to have emergency surgery to clear a blockage from her bowels in November of this year. While he was resting, Vanna White hosted in his stead. After taking time off for his family, he went back to work on December 5, 2019.
Casino Licensing Earnings
Salary from “Wheel of Fortune” isn’t Pat Sajak and Vanna White’s primary source of income, despite popular belief. Pat and Vanna’s licensing deals for their likenesses on slot machines in casinos bring in significantly more money than the game show itself.
In fact, the very first licensed entertainment property for use on slot machines was Wheel of Fortune. The first slot machines with the Wheel of Fortune trademark were introduced to Las Vegas casinos in 1996. Extreme popularity led to licensing in casinos all over the world. Within a decade, slot machines bearing the Wheel of Fortune logo were said to be the most lucrative in most casinos.
Around the world, casinos are home to an estimated twenty thousand “Wheel” slot machines. The annual gross income from Wheel of Fortune slot machines in Las Vegas is above $1 billion. Over $2 billion has been made by the machines thus far. Pat and Vanna both receive at least $15 million yearly in royalties, licensing fees, and other payments for the use of their faces and likenesses in slot machines.
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