- The winner of Survivor—now going into its 40th season—gets a whole lot of money.
- That prize money is taxable, as season one winner Richard Hatch learned the hard way.
- Losers make money, too, so you're not completely out of luck if you're not Sole Survivor.
While watching Survivor is loads of fun, living the experience is decidedly not as enjoyable. From the small rations of food to the bugs, diarrhea, and thunderstorms, spending 39 days on a faraway island isn't how most people would want to spend their time. Unless, of course, you had the chance to win a very large chunk of money at the end of it all.
So...what do you get for winning Survivor, anyway?
The winner of Survivor gets a cool $1 million.
How much does the Survivor winner get after taxes?
All of that prize money is taxable—a lesson Season 1 winner Richard Hatch learned the hard way. (Hatch ended up spending 51 months in prison for failing to pay taxes on his Survivor winnings and other income.)
In reality, after taxes, you would end up with about $580,000, according to AOL. AOL also elaborated on just how significantly those taxes affect your winnings:
"How much you're taxed depends on your income and the state you live in (because if your state levies income taxes, it will want its bite, too). However, it's safe to say that you'll lose nearly half to the taxman. If you want to survive on Survivor winnings for 20 years, you'll have to budget less than $30,000 a year after taxes."
But in a cool twist, the winner of Survivor: Winners at War will get a $2 million prize—but don't forget about those taxes. When a North Carolina man won a $2 million Powerball payday, he ended up with about $1,415,001, so we can expect our season 40 winner to take home a similar amount.
Do the losers of Survivor get any money?
For the rest of the castaways, there are also some cash prizes, as the second-place contestant receives about $100,000. Jon Dalton (aka Jonny Fairplay, of "dead grandma lie" fame) told TMZ that jury members are awarded $40,000 and the first person voted off gets around $3,500, while Today reported that the first person to get voted off receives $2,500. And if you're a returning player, you can net about $25,000 for being the first one to leave the island. Other contestants are paid on a sliding scale based on how long they end up staying in the game.
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