Pat Sajak, 76, Is Retiring As 'Wheel of Fortune' Host After 40 Years; Who Is He?

Pat Sajak, 76, Is Retiring As 'Wheel of Fortune' Host After 40 Years; Who Is He?
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Greg Fiume

Pat Sajak, the popular host of "Wheel Of Fortune", has announced his plans to leave the game show next year. The 76-year-old has been hosting the show for more than four decades and has reportedly amassed $75 million.

The "Wheel of Fortune" was reportedly the first TV game show to be licensed as a slot machine in casinos and other public places.

"Well, the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last," he shared on Twitter. "It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all. (If nothing else, it’ll keep the clickbait sites busy!)"

The show is yet to pick his replacement. However, reports suggest that Ryan Seacrest, who has a net worth of $450 million, is in the running.

Who Is Pat Sajak?

Getty Images | Gregorio Binuya
Getty Images | Gregorio Binuya

Pat Sajak was born in Chicago, Illinois, on October 26, 1946. Sajak graduated in 1964 from the Columbia College Chicago. He also served in the US army as a disc jokey during the Vietnam War for the American Forces Vietnam Network. In 1981, Sajak met Merv Griffin, the creator of "Wheel Of Fortune", and asked if he was interested in taking over the duty as the host of the show from Chuck Woolery.

Sajak has also developed several puzzle games like "Lucky Letters", which combines the excitement of a game show with the challenge of a word puzzle. 

How Much Does Pat Sajak's Earn?


As per Celebrity Net Worth, Sajak makes $14 million a year from his hosting gig, but earns way more from licensing his image to "Wheel of Fortune" slot machines globally.

He reportedly makes around $15 million a year from royalties, licensing fees, and other payments related to his image to around 20,000 "Wheel of Fortune" slot machines in casinos around the world since 1996. The show tapes four times a month, and a typical taping day makes him around $291,666. 

Acting and Other Ventures

Sajak appeared in the 1982 comedy film "Airline II: The Sequel". His role was as a Buffalo, New York newscaster. Pat also has a short-lived career in late-night shows. He had his show "The Pat Sajak Show" on CBS. However, he left it for the daytime version of "Wheel Of Fortune". Sajak also hosted a syndicated radio sports talk show and became an investor in 2005 in the Golden Baseball League, an independent pro baseball league.

He is also a VC at Hillsdale College in southern Michigan and the external director of Eagle Publishing, which is a conservative publishing house. 


Pat has a home in the LA suburb of Encino, which he bought for $1.895 in June 1988. He again invested in a mansion in Severna Park, Maryland. They constructed a 6,500-square-foot mansion on a 3-acre land. 

Getty Images | Doug Benc
Getty Images | Doug Benc

The game is based on a classic game hangman. In each of the rounds, three players get to compete to be the first to guess an unknown word in the word puzzle which is displayed on a board containing 52 spaces.

At the start of each round, the category is revealed by Pat. The titular round is the roulette-style wheel with 24 wedges. Most are labeled with dollar amounts ranging from $500 to $900 and some with $2,500, $3,500, and  $5,000. However, two wedges indicate bankruptcy which makes the contestant lose the turn.

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