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Top 20 Richest Game Show Hosts

  • Aditya 
  • 15 min read
Top 20 Richest Game Show Hosts

Game shows have been a staple of television programming for decades, and the charismatic hosts who front them have become household names in their own right. Along with engaging audiences with their wit and humor, they also earn huge sums of money for their hosting talent. In this article, we will take a look at the richest game show hosts and their income.

Top 20 Richest Game Show Hosts

Game shows have been around for a long time now. Even today you can’t help but stay glued to your TV if you come across one. People who host such shows have energetic charisma that helps them hold the viewers’ attention which is why they are paid big bucks. Let us begin our list.

1. Merv Griffin

Lucille Ball interview - Merv Griffin c.1980

A lot of people may remember Merv Griffin as the host of long-running TV shows; he created some of the most popular game shows such as Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.

He hosted a game show as well. The show he hosted was known as Play Your Hunch and he was on it from 1958 to 1962. He also appeared on the shows, The Price is Right and To Tell the Truth as a fill-in host.

His shows Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune are two of the most successful as well as longest-running game shows and continue to bring a lot of money to his estate even years after his death. Merv’s net worth is estimated to be 1 billion dollars at least.

Cross-reference: Griffin’s Accomplishments, Both On Screen and Off

2. Ryan Seacrest

Ryan Seacrest hasn’t just hosted game shows but also hosted music shows, radio, and television programs. He has hosted American Idol, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, American Top 40, and Live with Kelly and Ryan among other shows.

His game show hosting career started back in 1997 with the show Click. In 2013 he hosted the game show named The Million Second Quiz. His net worth of 450 million dollars gets him the second position on this list even though his net worth is less than half of Merv who tops this list.

Cross-reference: Ryan Seacrest is heir apparent to Dick Clark’s pop influence

3. Johnny Carson

One needs to find out how much does a game show host make per episode because Johnny Carson has racked up a net worth of as much as 300 million dollars doing so.

He hosted the game show Who Do You Trust? And he also hosted the very popular show, The Tonight Show. His work got him the Peabody Award in 1985.

Today there are multiple late-night shows on TV and multiple hosts are successful, however, in his time Johnny ruled this space. Apart from all that money Carson also earned a lot of respect and accolades for his work in this field.

Cross-reference: Johnny Carson: The Man Who Retired

4. Dick Clark

New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and American Bandstand are just a couple of shows that this man hosted. Between 1973 and 2002 Clark hosted the game show Pyramid.

He also hosted the game shows, The Object Is in 1963, Missing Links in 1964, Scattergories in 1993, It Takes Two in 1997, and Winning Lines in 2000.

That’s not it Dick also appeared in numerous movies and TV shows as himself. He founded the production company Dick Clark Productions which runs today even years after his death. All of this helped the popular host build a net worth of 200 million dollars.

Cross-reference: Dick Clark earned millions pioneering a business built on personal appeal

5. Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey Doesn't Like Being a Grandfather

Steve Harvey might not be the number one name on this list but he has to be one of the most popular and well-known names on it. With a net worth of 200 million dollars, he belongs on the list of richest game show hosts without a doubt.

Apart from being a game show host, Steve has worked as a standup comedian, author, and actor. He hosts the game show Family Feud. From 2003 to 2005 he hosted the show Steve Harvey’s Big Time Challenge which was his first such role.

He also hosts the celebrity version of the show Family Fued known as Celebrity Family Feud.

Cross-reference: Steve Harvey will never run out of ideas

6. Don Francisco

One of the biggest names in the world of TV stars is Don Francisco who has a net worth of 200 million dollars. His real name is Mario Kreutzberger and though he did a lot of Spanish language-based shows he is a well-known figure even among those that didn’t watch Spanish content.

He hosted the comedy variety show Sábado Gigante for 53 years which was originally just telecasted in Chile but made its way to the US in 1986.

The show itself is the longest-running variety show in any language in the world today. Don also hosted Chile’s version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and Deal or No Deal.

Cross-reference: TV Legend Don Francisco On His Childhood, Career Highlights And Why He Won’t Ever Retire

7. Drew Carey

Starting in 2007 Drew Carey became the host of the show The Price is Right and has now been doing it for over 15 years. When you ask who is the highest paid game show host Drew’s name might not be on top of your mind but he without a doubt is one of the most popular ones around.

Drew also hosted the single-season traditional game show, Power of 10. His journey in the hosting world began with the American version of the show Whose Line Is It Anyway where he worked from 1998 to 2007.

He also created and hosted the show Drew Carey’s Improv-A-Ganza. Having so many income streams helped Carey establish a net worth of 165 million dollars.

Cross-reference: ‘The Price Is Right,’ Ancient Mythology — It’s All the Same to Drew Carey

8. Regis Philbin

When talking about the highest-paid TV host one of the names in contention is that of Regis Philbin whose net worth stands at 150 million dollars.

The feat of most hours spent on television belongs to Regis who hosted the show Live! with… for 23 years. He was also the original host of the show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and hosted the show during its peak popularity.

From 2008 to 2009 Philbin also hosted the show Million Dollar Password. Deal or No Deal, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?, and Celebrity Jeopardy! are some of the shows on which he appeared as a panelist, contestant, or co-host.

Cross-reference: Philbin packs up his desk, but not his stories

9. Jeff Foxworthy

Jeff Foxworthy happens to be one of the many standup comedians who also worked as a game show host. His first role as a host in a game show happened in Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader and he worked in this show from 2007 to 2015.

In 2012 Jeff also appeared on the game show The American Bible Challenge. Apart from standup comedy and game show hosting he has also been into reality television and other scripted stuff.

Having done so much varied work has helped Foxworthy take his net worth to the figures of 100 million dollars.

Cross-reference: Jeff Foxworthy comments on other comics

10. Alex Trebek

Alex Trebek’s Final Episode Of ‘Jeopardy!’ Ends With Touching Tribute | TODAY

Alex Trebek died in 2020 but by then he had already established a massive net worth of 75 million dollars. In the 1960s and 70s, he hosted multiple game shows, a couple of which were High Rollers and Classic Concentration.

He also hosted the show Jeopardy starting in 1984. While the popular future may have died his memory continues to live while his estate will continue to grow as Jeopardy reruns continue to happen on TV and streaming platforms.

Cross-reference: How Alex Trebek became America’s most beloved game-show host

11. Bob Barker

Bob Barker is known for a lot of things and among them is also the credential of having hosted the popular show The Price is Right. He didn’t just host the show but made sure to keep it and his popularity kept growing as other shows around him failed.

He also hosted the show Truth or Consequences for 20 years before he went on to host The Price is Right. He managed to create a net worth of 70 million dollars and he used some of it for philanthropic causes such as standing for animal rights.

Cross-reference: Bob Barker, 97, Reflects on ‘The Price Is Right’ as Season 50 Approaches

12. Pat Sajak

Pat Sajak is the current longest-serving game show host and hosts the show Wheel Of Fortune as he has been doing for the past 41 years. Before this, in the 70s Pat was a TV weatherman and did radio gigs.

Apart from all this he also served in Vietnam for the US Army. He briefly appeared on the show Days of Our Lives and also appeared on a self-titled talk show from 1989 to 1990.

From his multiple professions and jobs in the TV industry, Sajak managed to amass a net worth of 70 million dollars.

Cross-reference: Pat Sajak Says “The End Is Near” After 40 Years of Hosting “Wheel of Fortune”

13. Howie Mandel

He is a comedian, he worked as the voice of Gizmo in Gremlin and also appeared on the medical drama show St. Elsewhere. In the 90s he was more focused on small TV appearances and stand up comedy, however, in the 2000s his career took a turn for good when he became the host of the game show Deal or No Deal.

He also hosted the Canadian version of the show with the same name. He also works as a panelist on America’s Got Talent, a role he signed up for back in 2010. Since 2017 he has made 53 appearances on the game show Funny You Should Ask. Today his net worth is 60 million dollars.

Cross-reference: Howie Mandel: ‘Richard Pryor Was My Biggest Comedy Influence’

14. Anne Robinson

Anne Robinson is one of the richest game show hosts. She is known for hosting the show The Weakest Link. The show was only second to Who Wants To Be A Millionaire in terms of global popularity and the number of international versions.

Earlier Anne had worked as a TV show panelist and a journalist in England. Even today Robinson appears in various versions of the show The Weakest Link, however, that is not her only job as she also features in a few other shows here and there.

Courtesy of all this she has managed to stack a net worth of 45 million dollars.

Cross-reference: Anne Robinson steps down as Countdown host

15. Meredith Vieira

Meredith Vieira Opens Up On Leaving ‘The View’ And TODAY

Meredith Vieira is the original moderator on The View and co-hosted the talk show Today for five years. Her other credentials include having worked on programs like NBC Nightly News and Dateline.

She was also the first to host a daytime syndicated version of the game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. In 2019 she returned to hosting game shows after a small break and hosted the syndicated version of 25 Words or Less.

Having worked in various television shows over the years has helped Vieira accumulate a net worth of 40 million dollars.

Cross-reference: Meredith Vieira on What Motivates Her to Keep Working

16. Chris Hardwick

We don’t know how much does a game show host makes per episode but Chris Hardwick’s 25 million dollar net worth has come to be not just from hosting game shows but also from working as an actor, doing music, and stand-up comedy.

He hosted his first show named Trashed in 1994. He then went on to co-host the dating show Singled Out. Other shows that he has worked on include names like Shipmates, Web Soup, and then the podcast Nerdist among others.

He returned to hosting game shows in 2013 when he started working on @midnight. In 2016 he became the host of the game show The Wall.

Cross-reference: AMC Is Taking Chris Hardwick Back After All

17. Bob Eubanks

When you hear the name The Newlywed Game Bob Eubanks name should immediately come to your mind.

He may not be the name who is the highest paid game show host but he is the name that has hosted the original run of the show from 1966 to 74 before going on to host its multiple revivals that came and went between 1977 and 2010.

In the 1980s he hosted a popular version of the game show Card Sharks. Apart from that he also went on to host a few other lesser-known game shows. He has played himself in movies and TV shows.

In his career that has spanned more than 7 decades, he has also hosted non-televised events as well. All this has helped his net worth grow to the figure of 25 million dollars.

Cross-reference: ‘If You Rest, You Rust’: At 85, Bob Eubanks doesn’t plan on retiring

18. Ben Stein

People might remember Ben Stein for hosting one of a kind show that was named Win Ben Stein’s Money.

The premise of the show must have made everyone feel that Ben must have been one of the highest-paid TV hosts and that turns out to be true as he possesses a net worth of 25 million dollars.

That show paid him 5,000 dollars per episode which was a big salary back then. Apart from all this Stein was also featured in various TV shows and movies such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Ghostbusters II. He also worked as a speechwriter for Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

Cross-reference: Ben Stein: Staying Out Of Bad Money Neighborhoods

19. Tom Bergeron

Back in 1989 Tom hosted the game show Granite State Challenge and took his first steps in this field. Then from 1998 to 2004, he did a thousand episodes on the show Hollywood Squares.

He has also hosted America’s Funniest Home Videos and Dancing with the Stars. Today Tom mostly comes as a guest on various shows which may also be non-reality game shows.

Bergeron may even be well off if he calls time on his career as has a huge 14 million dollar net worth that he can sit back on.

Cross-reference: Tom Bergeron Weighs In ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Change in Leadership

20. Wayne Brady

Wayne Brady Apologizes to Chet Hanks | ZIWE | Season 2

Wayne Brady first came to prominence when people noticed him on the U.S. version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? by Drew Carey. But many might not know that he did also feature in the original UK version.

From there went on to do a self-titled variety series, The Wayne Brady Show. Then in 2009, he signed up for hosting a new version of the show Let’s Make A Deal and since then he has stuck with it.

He was the original host of Don’t Forget The Lyrics while he hosted and posed as the executive producer of Game of Talents. Today Brady is worth no less than 12 million dollars.

Cross-reference: How Wayne Brady ‘Yes, Ands’ His Way to Success

How much does a Game Show Host make per episode?

While a finger can’t be put on it many must surely be wondering how much does a game show host make per episode. To answer this question we have found some estimates.

A US game show host makes between 18,000 dollars and 86,780 dollars while the average is 32,196 dollars. Among all states, those in Houston, Texas make the most in the US.

However, the names we saw in the names above are celebrities in their own right and they didn’t get paid these figures or at least don’t make that less now or they wouldn’t have stacked million in net worth.

Most of these big names are bagging 10s of thousands of dollars per episode and are making ten million dollars or more a year.

Who is the Highest Paid Game Show Host?

As seen above in the list of richest game show hosts Merv Griffin is the man who earned the most being a game show host. Not all his money came from hosting game shows nor was it the only kind of work he was doing, however, his association with game shows helped him feature on the above list and claim this title.

So there you have it. If you ask who is the highest paid game show host then it has to be Merv Griffin and what’s more, is that he has no competition. The second richest game show host has a net worth of 450 million dollars which is less than half of Merv’s 1 billion dollars net worth.

Who is the Highest-Paid TV Host?

If we talk about the highest paid TV host then from the current batch of hosts it has to be Oprah Winfrey. She is known for the popular talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, however, she is also an actress, television producer, author, and philanthropist.

She is known as the Queen of All Media. Her work has helped her bag multiple awards over the years while also making her the richest American African of the 20th Century.

Her name has also been featured on the Forbes list for America’s Self-Made Women 2022 and she was also placed at 1196 rank on the list of Billionaires 2022. Her net worth today stands at an impressive 3.2 billion dollars.

There may not be a standard payment as how much does a game show host make per episode depends mostly on their popularity & rankings. Now we not only know who is the highest paid game show host but also the highest-paid TV host.

Talking about the richest game show hosts must have reminded you of the shows you enjoyed as a kid and maybe it is time to rewatch them as their massive payday sinks in.

Aditya Farrad

Aditya Farrad

Aditya is a seasoned business expert and the founder of Moneymint. He became a self-made millionaire at a young age thanks to his various online businesses. With years of experience running his own successful businesses, Aditya understands the unique challenges and opportunities that come with entrepreneurship.

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