Game shows have played an important role in television history. And so have their hosts, particularly the greats like Bob Barker, Regis Philben, Chuck Woolery, Richard Dawson, and Bob Eubanks.
Today, some of the game shows we grew up with continue on. In some cases, they are anchored by long-time hosts who have also entertained viewers for decades. In others, someone new was handed the keys to the kingdom. Meanwhile, augmenting the classes are brand new game shows that are captivating viewers in unique ways, and even tapping into pop culture trends.
With that said, how lucrative is hosting a game show? Here are 10 of the most popular game show hosts on television today, along with their net worth (figures according to CelebrityNetWorth.com).
10 Alfonso Ribeiro ($7 million)
Best known as Will Smith’s cousin Carlton on the ‘90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and for developing the “Carlton” dance, Ribeiro has hosted several game shows, including Catch 21 and Spell-Mageddon.
Today, he has been chosen to host a UK game show called Money Tree, while simultaneously hosting America’s Funniest Home Videos, a show where Americans submit funny family moments captured on video, and the top three videos at the end of each episode compete for votes to win a large cash prize. Kudos to Ribeiro for keeping viewers excited to watch a series that is essentially a televised version of YouTube.
9 Wayne Brady ($10 million)
This comedic talent has made lots of dough off his ability to simply be funny, and his incredible abilities at improvisation. He hosted Don’t Forget the Lyrics!, and currently hosts Let’s Make a Deal, a gig he’s had since 2009. In addition to making bank from game show hosting, he also makes guest appearances on TV series, including The Bold and the Beautiful, and in theatre productions.
8 Howie Mandel ($40 million)
In addition to earning an income for his hosting gig on Deal or No Deal, Mandel also makes a reported $70,000 per episode for serving as a judge on America’s Got Talent. With a lengthy television and movie career, this stand-up comedian also spends much of his time working to bring awareness to mental health, as the host is open about his ADHD and OCD.
7 Alex Trebek ($50 million)
Receiving a $10 million annual salary for his long-time role as the host of Jeopardy!, Trebek earns every last penny through his witty banter, impeccable pronunciation, and ability to keep viewers consistently enthralled since he took over as host during its revival in 1984. He has hosted other game shows, including Double Dare and To Tell the Truth. But Trebek is Jeopardy! Sadly, he was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer, and though it has a poor prognosis, the host promised in a video announcement that he would fight to beat the odds and continue hosting the show for as long as he possibly can.
6 Rob Lowe ($60 million)
When you think Rob Lowe, you don’t think game show host. You think former teen idol, A-list actor who has appeared in countless movies and TV series over the last several decades, and a man in his mid-50s who doesn’t seem to age. But Lowe has added game show host to his list of credits with Mental Samurai, for which he also serves as producer.
In the competition series, described as an “obstacle course for the mind,” contestants are flipped around in the air by a large robot arm called Ava while they must answer knowledge-based questions of different types in a set period of time. Meanwhile, Lowe continues to act in movies and TV series like the upcoming 9-1-1: Lone Star, a spin-off of procedural drama 9-1-1 that is set to debut in the 2019/2020 season.
5 Pat Sajak ($65 million)
Taking home $15 million annually for quizzing players and spinning the wheel on Wheel of Fortune, Sajak has hosted the popular game show since 1983 since he took over the post from another iconic game show host, Chuck Woolery. He has also made television appearances, often as himself, writes for the National Review Online, and has authored several puzzle games. We’ll be seeing lots more of him, as the veteran host has signed on to continue hosting Wheel of Fortune through 2022.
4 Vanna White ($70 million)
There’s a lot more to Vanna White’s gig on Wheel of Fortune than just flipping giant cubes to reveal letters and clapping. Apparently, at least, considering that the long-time sidekick to Pat Sajak on the game show makes a reported $10 million annually. On the show since 1982, and signed on through 2022, she’s also made several cameo appearances on television shows and in movies in between her time filming episodes.
A crochet and knitting enthusiast, White also earns cash through her own line of yarns called Vanna’s Choice, a brand sold through Lion Brand Yarns.
3 Jamie Foxx ($100 million)
This Academy Award-winning actor got his start in comedy and has racked up an extensive and impressive resume in movies, including playing Ray Charles in the biographical film Ray (the role for which he won the Oscar), and other major box office hits like Django Unchained and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Today, he hosts and executive produces Beat Shazam, a game show where contestants must try to identify songs before the music identifying app can.
2 Steve Harvey ($160 million)
Family Feud has had some pretty iconic hosts, including Richard Dawson, Louie Anderson, Richard Karn, and Ray Combs. Harvey fits right in with his quick wit and ability to both interact with and, when necessary, make fun of, the contestants and their sometimes dimwitted answers. But Harvey makes bank doing much more than just hosting this game show; he also hosts his own morning show, Celebrity Family Feud, Little Big Shots, and the Miss Universe pageant. Additionally, he has written a number of books, serves as a radio host, and had a long career as a stand-up comedian.
1 Drew Carey ($165 million)
Carey had massive shoes to fill when he took over the role of host of The Price is Right from the venerable Bob Barker. But he’s done a great job and has managed to make the show his own. Hosting since 2007, he had previous hosting experience on the U.S. version of improv comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway? He also starred in his own sitcom, The Drew Carey Show. A stand-up comedian, he also hosts a SiriusXM radio show and has written an autobiography.