'The Amazing Race': Contestants Still Make a Ton of Money if They Come in Second or Third Place

It’s hard to believe CBS’ The Amazing Race is going on nearly 20 years of being on the air. The show features contestants embarking on a race around the world as they arrive at destinations and complete tasks in different countries. The slowest team is eliminated after the end of each leg, and the contestants who arrive at their destinations the fastest typically receive advantages.

Aside from having the opportunity to see new parts of the world, the winners of the show take home quite a nice grand prize. And the second- and third-place winners don’t do too bad, either.

Winners of ‘The Amazing Race’ take home $1 million

CBS is known for its high-stakes reality shows, as they’re entertaining for the viewer and all-consuming for the participants. Those competing in The Amazing Race have to deal with unbelievable stress to make sure they’re getting from one destination to the next. But in the end, the winning team is rewarded handsomely. They’ll take home $1 million.

However, Men’s Health reminds us these earning are taxed. And there happen to be some hidden fees along the way. Past winner Mark “Abba” Abbattista told The A.V. Club that he still had to pay for food along the way.

“Your air is paid for and your hotel and they include some other things, like massages or a snorkel trip, but all the food is not included,” Abbattista noted. “So you’re spending money and going to places that you’re not necessarily interested in.”

Second- and third-place winners of the show also make a ton of money

While the first place winner(s) get $1 million, what about the rest of the contestants? E! News notes the second-place team still gets to take home $25,000, and the third-place team gets $10,000.

Unfortunately for the losers, they can’t take off with their money and run once they’ve lost. Abbattista noted those eliminated from the show have to stay sequestered at a resort until filming is completed to prevent spoilers.

“They keep you sequestered,” Abbattista said. “You can’t go home three days after you leave because then everyone knows you didn’t win.”

The losing teams at the resort are given a stipend and can venture off the property, though. This is more freedom than the jury members from Survivor get, as they all must stay in a remote location named Ponderosa until the final three contestants are announced.

The host, Phil Keoghan, makes more per season than the winners

While the winners of The Amazing Race are after the sweet $1 million prize, it seems host Phil Keoghan is quite used to that amount of cash. The host reportedly earns about $100,000 per episode, which amounts to about $1.2 million per season.

While Keoghan is known as the show’s host, he also has other endeavors that help support his income. He wrote a successful book, No Opportunity Wasted, and has appeared in Star Trek, American Dad!, and National Geographic Explorer. All in all, his net worth totals around $16 million. Not bad.

We’re sure we’ll see Keoghan again once The Amazing Race is cleared to air once more. Unfortunately, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has halted international travel, rendering the show much too difficult to film. But with such a loving fanbase, we’re sure it’ll be back ASAP!

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