It might feel to some out there that Richard Hatch winning the cool one million (and an SUV) on Survivor Season One was just a few years ago. But hey, fact-check on that one. That season, Borneo, was in 2000. Since then he starred on more reality shows and even served five years in prison for tax evasion and fraud!
While $1M is still a huge prize in anyone’s book, it’s not just Hatch that has won big. There are plenty of other reality shows that give a big fat check to the winner.
Sure, these shows are clearly where the money’s at. But not everyone’s as lucky as these contestant winners, who are all set for retirement and can probably quit their day job. For people like us, who are still struggling with that 9-5, five or six days a week job, we can only try our luck by playing at a no deposit online casino. And even if we do choose to do so, chances of winning real money are greatly dependent on how lucky you are and whether you manage to meet the game’s wagering requirements.
But we digress! On with the shows…
After now running for a staggering 43 seasons, and syndicated all over the world, Survivor still comes with a big prize at the end for the person who best manages to Outwit, Outplay, and Outlast their competitors. And that prize? It’s still $1 million. While it’s not quite worth as much as it was back in 2000, it’s still a huge chunk of change for whoever gets to win it next. We just recommend they pay their taxes properly to avoid Hatch’s debacle.
2. The Amazing Race
Another mainstay on television, premiering the year after Survivor, in 2001, The Amazing Race is the pairs-based race around the world competition that pushes people to their limits. And like Survivor, the pot of gold at the end of the race that goes to the winning team is $1 million. Sure, split between two that winds up to $500k, but who wouldn’t want to win that alongside their partner/friend/sibling?
3. American Ninja Warrior
This insanely difficult obstacle course game show is a thrill to watch to try and see who can climb Mount Midoriyama for Total Victory. In terms of who is able to be on American Ninja Warrior, you have to have some pretty extreme fitness skills. But if you can and do, and get right to the very end, the prize money also comes in at $1,000,000.
4. America’s Got Talent
Onto talent of another form, hopeful singers, contortionists, ventriloquists – hey, any audience-wowing skill – come to America’s Got Talent in the hopes of reaching the top. By impressing the judges and going all in, the winning contestants in this game can also grab a $1 million cash prize. Fun fact: they can also get paid out over 40 years.
5. Big Brother
Sit around in a house and be yourself and have a chance to win $500,000? Um, yes please, sign us up. Big Brother is the battle of personalities to prove who’s most likable although it doesn’t always wind up with the winner being the most popular choice.
6. Hell’s Kitchen
Depending on whether you think you can dance in the flames of hell with everyone’s favorite shouty chef, Gordon Ramsay, you may be able to nab $250k. Hell’s Kitchen pits contestants’ chef-skills against each other in teams before coming down to individual challenges.
7. So You Think You Can Dance
Heading into another niche skills-based reality show, So You Think You Can Dance is the show where contestants prove their dance skills to see who takes home the $250,000 prize. While the show was on hiatus during Covid, it’s now back on our screens.
8. Drag Race
Award-winning reality show Ru Paul’s Drag Race has recently upped its prize to $150,000 to be crowned the best drag superstar. The Queens battle it out in challenges to show their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent.
9. The Voice
Singing competitions will always be popular, and the gimmicky chair-turning of The Voice has kept this reality series alive for many moons and uncovered a wealth of talent. The current prize if you win this competition? That stands at $100k – certainly nothing to sneeze at.
10. Lego Masters
A newer entry in the reality TV game show world, Lego Masters has captured the attention of the world with its competitive lego-building challenges. Who knew that it could be so exciting to watch people make Lego creations? The winners of Lego Masters also score $100,000.