How Much Is Alex Trebek Really Worth?
Jeopardy's Alex Trebek has been handsomely rewarded over the years for helping other people win large amounts of money by answering trivia questions. He takes home a nice salary for reading clues on a board - not to mention all of his other financial endeavors - but how much is Alex Trebek really worth?
Education is obviously important to Trebek, judging by his charitable contributions. During the midst of a battle with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Trebek trekked up to the University of Ottawa to speak at a university event.
According to CTV News, he marked the occasion with a $2.1 million donation to the Alex Trebek Forum for Dialogue. The host actually got the organization started with a $5 million endowment, meaning he's donated more than $7 million to the center that bears his name.
Trebek, who has dual Canadian-American citizenship, gives money to stateside institutions, too. In 2015, he donated $1 million to Fordham University, which will be used as a scholarship fund specifically for students who live in North Harlem, according to Fordham News.
That same year, the Alex and Jean Trebek Family Foundation decided to endow a professorship at Stephens College in the institution's Master of Fine Arts in TV and Screenwriting, according to COMO Magazine.
Over the years, Trebek placed a lot of his Jeopardy! earnings into big, fabulous homes, estates, and acreage. Most of the time, he lives in a nearly 10,000-square-foot house in the glitzy Fryman Canyon area of Studio City, California. Back in 1991, he paid a relatively low $2.15 million for the home, according to Variety.
Whenever he got tired of his gigantic mansion, he could retreat to his vacation home, the 2,595-square-foot getaway sitting on 30 acres of land in Paso Robles, California. In August 2019, Trebek sold the home for $1.3 million, according to The Tribune.
He also once owned Windfall Farms, a 724-acre horse ranch in Creston, California, and earned about $10 million when he unloaded it in 2005.
One of Trebek's biggest and most notable real estate transactions netted him exactly no money. In 1998, he donated 74 acres of trail-lined Hollywood Hills land near Runyon Canyon Park to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. The estimated value of the land was $2 million.
Trebek has appeared on TV for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, for well over 30 years, but it's the magic of television that gives the illusion he's on that Jeopardy! set every single day. The Jeopardy! crew shoots an entire season's worth of shows - about 230 episodes - in just 46 days. Those four dozen or so shifts find Trebek working his way through five episodes each and every day. So while the hours are good, the pay is amazing. According to The Atlantic, Trebek earns an annual salary of $10 million to remind contestants to phrase their response in the form of a question.
That works out to a little over $217,000 per day of work, or just under $44,000 per episode. In other words, most days, the life-changing amount of money awarded to the winning contestant isn't as much as Trebek took home just for doing his job. According to Forbes, he's the highest-paid game show host on TV.
If he's buying and selling California estates, bringing home $10 million a year to host Jeopardy!, earning some cash from being the longtime spokesman for Colonial Penn insurance, and throwing a couple of million bucks here and there to various universities, then Trebek's obviously got a lot of money in the bank - his estimated net worth is somewhere in the area of $50 to $75 million.
Here's a fun fact: the average winning contestant on Jeopardy! gets a check for about $20,000 - so they'd need to win that amount around 2,500 more times to equal the low-ball figure of Trebek's net worth.
So then where does all that money go? In a 2014 episode of The Nerdist podcast, Trebek said that he gives a lot of his money to philanthropic causes.