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What is Vanna White’s Net Worth and Salary?

Vanna White’s net worth is $85 million dollars. She is best known as the hostess and puzzle-board turner of the long-running game show “Wheel of Fortune.” Vanna’s $85 million net worth makes her roughly $15 million richer than her co-host Pat Sajak (net worth $70 million).

The difference is thanks partially to real estate investments made with her former husband, real estate developer/restaurateur named George Santo Pietro. At the time of his death in 2020, Alex Trebek was worth $75 million. Therefore, Vanna is/was actually the richest of the three. Vanna White’s “Wheel of Fortune” salary is $10 million per year, but as we explain later in this article, that’s not even her largest source of income every year. Vanna has used her platform and wealth to engage in philanthropy over the years.

In 2006, she founded the Vanna White Foundation, which provides scholarships to children of military personnel who have died or been disabled in service. Vanna has also been a supporter of Grammy in the Schools, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Habitat for Humanity, among other organizations. Vanna’s work on and off “Wheel of Fortune” has made her one of the most beloved personalities on television for decades, and her generous spirit has endeared her to millions more.

Early Life 

Vanna White was born Vanna Marie Rosich on February 18, 1957, in Conway, South Carolina, the daughter of Joan Marie and Miguel Angel Rosich. Her father, a United States Marine Corps World War II veteran, died when Vanna was just an infant and her mother remarried to Herbert Stackley White Jr. when Vanna was two. Vanna took her stepfather’s name and was raised in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Vanna White graduated from high school in 1975 and then attended the Atlanta School of Fashion where she eventually dropped out. It was during her time at the fashion school that she won the Miss Georgia USA 1978 pageant which then led to her moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. In June 1980, Vanna White made her television debut as a contestant on The Price Is Right where shewon a new car. After her appearance on The Price Is Right, Vanna had small roles in various films such Gettysburg (1993) and Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994).

Vanna White is an American television personality and film actress best known as the hostess of Wheel of Fortune since 1983.

Career

She graduate from Carolina School for the Arts in 1979 with a degree in drama. In 1981, Vanna booked a bit part in the film “Looker” and also appeared in the horror movie “Graduation Day.”  In October 1982, White was hired as one of three substitute hostesses of “Wheel of Fortune.”  White became the show’s regular hostess on December 13, 1982, and has remained as the show’s primary hostess ever since.

She beat out more than 200 other young women for the job. White continues to co-host the evening version of the show along with Pat Sajak. Her contract runs through 2022. White has worn more than 6,700 dresses with no repeats during her tenure on “Wheel of Fortune.” She does not get to keep her wardrobe from the show. White’s dresses are usually borrowed from designers and returned once she’s done taping the show. White was presented with a Guinness World Record.

Playboy Lawsuit

Any public figure who achieves a high level of fame is likely to have some challenges along the way. For Vanna White, who has been a household name for over 30 years, one of those challenges came in the form of Playboy Magazine. In 1987, photos taken of White several years earlier were published in Playboy, much to her chagrin. White filed a lawsuit against both Playboy and Hugh Hefner, claiming that the publication of the photos would damage her wholesome image. Though the lawsuit was ultimately unsuccessful, it served as a reminder that even celebrities are not immune to the challenges that come with fame.

Decades later she would explain:

I did something I shouldn’t have done. When I first moved to Hollywood, I was too embarrassed to ask my dad for rent money. I was young and I wanted to do it on my own. So, I did these lingerie shots and from the moment I said I would do them, I thought, ‘I shouldn’t be doing this, but I’m not going to ask my dad for money, so I’m just going to do it!’

Sony Lawsuit

In 1993, game show host Vanna White successfully sued the Samsung Electronics corporation after the company aired a commercial that featured a smiling robot that turned letters on a game show. White asserted that the company was using her likeness without permission. Incredibly, Vanna ended up winning the lawsuit after several appeals and was awarded $403,000 in damages. This case is significant because it established that celebrities have a right to control the use of their likenesses for commercial purposes. Prior to this case, it was unclear whether celebrities could assert this right, and many companies had been using celebrity images without permission. Thanks to Vanna White’s landmark case, however, celebrities now have a clear legal recourse if their images are used without permission.

Personal Life

When Vanna White left North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to pursue her dream of becoming a star, she only $1,000 to her name. She waited tables and modeled while in college in Atlanta and while looking for fame and fortune in her early days in Los Angeles.

In the 1980’s Vanna dated “Playgirl” centerfold and Chippendales-dancer-turned-actor John Gibson. They got engaged at some point in the 80s, however, Gibson was killed in a plane crash in 1986, before they got married.

In the summer of 1980, she returned briefly to South Carolina to be with her mother as she battled ovarian cancer. Her mother lost her battle with the disease.

Vanna married restaurant owner George Santo Pietro in December 1990. Santo Pietro was born to a wealthy family in Beverly Hills. He launched his first restaurant in the early 1980s.  He followed up with a successful sushi place called Sushi-Ko that became a hot spot for celebrities. They had two children together, son Nicholas, born in 1994 and a daughter Giovanna, nicknamed Gigi, in 1997. White and Santo Pietro divorced in November 2002.

Her grandmother taught her how to crochet when she was five. She continues this hobby to this day. After talking about her love of crocheting on the “Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” she was contacted by the yarn manufacturer Lion Brand Yarns. The comapny contracted with her to create her own line of yarns called Vanna’s Choice.

White is a patron of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She has donated $1.8 million to date to St. Jude’s. She plans to continue her philanthropic works after her retirement from “Wheel of Fortune.”

Wheel of Fortune Salary Highlights

Vanna White’s salary from “Wheel of Fortune” is $10 million per year.

Pat Sajak’s salary is $15 million.

Wheel of Fortune tapes four days per month, six shows per day. They tape two Thursdays and two Fridays. On taping days, they both arrive around 8:30 am and start shooting at noon. One audience watches three shows, then there is a break for lunch. A second audience comes in to watch three more tapings.

In other words, Vanna and Pat work 48 days per year of work to earn $10 and $14 million per year, respectively. On a per-workday basis, Vanna White earns $208,333. Pat earns $312,500 per workday. Breaking it down per show, Pat Sajak earns $48,611 per show and Vanna White earns $34,722 per show.

But! As we explain in the next paragraph, Vanna’s “Wheel of Fortune” salary isn’t even her biggest annual paycheck!

Casino Licensing Earnings

Believe it or note, Vanna White’s salary from “Wheel of Fortune” isn’t actually her largest source of annual income. Vanna and Pat both make more money licensing their images to casino slot machines than they do from the game show itself.

Wheel of Fortune was actually the FIRST entertainment property to be licensed for use on slot machines. In 1996 the first Wheel of Fortune branded slot machines were placed in casinos in Las Vegas. They quickly proved to be extremely successful and were licensed to casinos around the world. Within a decade, the Wheel of Fortune branded slot machines were reported to be the highest revenue generating slot machines in most casinos. There are an estimated 20,000 “Wheel” slot machines on casinos floors around the world. In Las Vegas alone, Wheel of Fortune slot machines generate over $1 billion per year in gross revenue. Worldwide the machines generate over $2 billion.

In exchange for licensing their respective images and likenesses for the slot machines, Pat and Vanna both earn at least $15 million per year, mostly from a base royalty payment both also from a variety of bonuses and appearance fees.

Annual Income

Total it all up, and between her “Wheel of Fortune” salary and casino licensing earnings, Vanna White’s annual income easily tops $25 million every year.

Real Estate

At one point George Santo Pietro and Vanna lived in a gated community called The Mulholland Estates. They lived next door to Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty. They eventually built a 15,000 square-foot spec house in the gated community of Beverly Park. The couple lived in the home until their divorce in 2002. After their divorce, they both vacated the property and for several years they rented it for $175,000 per month. In 2017 they listed the house for sale for $47.5 million. They also owned a house on a nearby. They eventually sold the two properties separately. The second lot sold for $22 million. The primary lot that featured Vanna’s mansion sold in June 2020 for $19.3 million. Here’s a video tour of their former mansion:

White uses her income to invest in apartment buildings, and she likes flipping houses.

Her longtime primary residence has been a 10,000 square-foot mansion in the hills above Beverly Hills which she bought in the early 2000s for $3.4 million. Today this home is likely worth north of $10 million.

In 2013 Vanna paid $1.125 million for a home in Sherman Oaks, California. She listed this home for rent in May 2020 for $20,000 per month.

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