How Much Do Game Show Hosts Make?

Being a game show host can be profitable, at least if the show is popular

Game show host Alex Trebek makes about $10 million per season
Alex Trebek. Amanda Edwards/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Game show hosts' salaries can be quite impressive, depending on a number of factors.If you're looking for a lucrative career, becoming a game show host isn't a terrible choice as long as you're willing to put in a lot of hard work and be fortunate enough to be cast on a show that's either been on the air for decades, or is a big hit in prime time even for a short period.

The salaries of game show hosts vary a great deal, and it's really important to keep in mind that this kind of information is not public record, so none of these numbers are 100% verified.

They come from a variety of sources, some much more reliable than others. The following numbers are (mostly) ballpark figures, and are not meant to be taken as absolute fact.

With that said, here's what I was able to find on the salaries of some of our favorite game show hosts, both past and present. Some of these numbers are per season, while others are per episode. The per episode fees are specified.

Pat Sajak and Vanna White

Oddly enough, the one salary that seems to be most certain is the highest. That honor goes to...

  • Pat Sajak: $12 million

According to Business Insider, Sajak makes more than Jimmy Fallon, Anderson Cooper, and Jimmy Kimmel. His co-host's salary is trickier to confirm, but most sources seem to agree on the number:

  • Vanna White: $8 million

Compare these salaries to the $400,000 original WoF host Chuck Woolery made, and it's easy to see why Woolery complained.

Alex Trebek

Over at Wheel of Fortune's sister show, the host of Jeopardy!

doesn't seem to make quite as much per season as Pat Sajak. Why is that, I wonder?

  • Alex Trebek: $10 million

Bob Barker

By comparison though, it seems that Trebek has something in common with another one of the genre's most beloved hosts:

  • Bob Barker: $10 million

Drew Carey

And, since we'll keep following this host-association trail, the newest host of The Price is Right isn't very forthcoming about his salary.

I saw two attempts to figure it out, and both of them were almost the same:

  • Drew Carey: $9 million (ish)

Steve Harvey

Now we get into the per episode rates, which, if you're really interested, you can multiply by the average number of shows per season to get a per-season rate. Personally I'm not that interested (nor am I excited about doing math voluntarily), so I'll leave that up to you.

Family Feud is becoming more and more popular, and its host has so many other irons in the fire that his hosting salary isn't likely the main reason he's doing this gig. But we're glad he's sticking around.

  • Steve Harvey: $20,000 per episode

Interestingly, Richard Dawson made $500,000 per season - at least in his early years.

Jeff Foxworthy

Back when Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? was doing well in prime time, its host commanded a hefty per episode salary. And I do mean hefty:

  • Jeff Foxworthy: $150,000 per episode

I really wanted to find out what he gets for The American Bible Challenge for comparison, but I couldn't find anything close to reliable for that info.

Howie Mandel

And speaking of popular game shows from the not-too-distant past, how about the host of Deal or No Deal? He made half of what Foxworthy pulled in - but to be fair, there were all of those models to pay as well...

  • Howie Mandel: $75,000 per episode

Regis Philbin

Finally, what did the man who brought game shows back to prime time back in the late 1990s pull in per episode? The first host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire:

  • Regis Philbin: $100,000 per episode

 

So, as you can see, it's possible to make lots of money as a game show host. You just have to attach yourself to a juggernaut, or already be famous when you take on the gig. Easy peasy.