How much would they have to pay you to tolerate the in-house antics of Big Brother? Everyone knows about the $750,000 top prize that goes to the winner. However it turns out that just getting selected can be pretty lucrative and worth your time. Getting a follower bump or show exposure can make you a lot of money, of course. But we’re talking about here is the money you get paid by CBS just to stay in the house. This doesn’t include the other surprise cash prizes that a houseguest might win while in a competition, but guaranteed money houseguests get paid while in the Big Brother house. And as we’ll see, there’re incentives to hang on as long as possible, including making it as a juror. But however you slice it, the answer to the question, “Do Big Brother Contestants Get Paid By CBS?” is definitely yes.
Do Big Brother Contestants Get Paid By CBS?
You don’t have to win the whole competition to get paid on Big Brother but your prize amount will be far less. In fact the runner up wins 1/10th of the money won by the season’s winner. So whoever finishes second in BB25 will win $75,000 USD. But, all houseguests, even those who were eliminated first, get to compete for the audience’s favor and win America’s Favorite Houseguest. Being popular with the audience is almost as lucrative as winning second place, as the favorite walks away with $50,000. This is an online vote, so how a houseguest comes off in the live feeds is key to winning. The earliest season of Big Brother was all done through online voting, and many of the international shows use this format, but also for handling eliminations.
The top prizes received a bit of an upgrade in Big Brother season 23. Before that, America’s Favorite Houseguest only took home $25,000, the runner up got $50,000, and the winner got $500,000. Naturally people have speculated as to whether you can win the America’s Favorite Houseguest and another top prize. Until Big Brother 24, it was assumed you couldn’t. But that year, houseguest Taylor Hale won first place and the Favorite Houseguest award. This was a unique storyline twist where Taylor was a skilled and likeable underdog who was bullied and the target of lies from another contestant.
Do Big Brother Contestants Get Paid?
The longer you survive in a Big Brother season, the more wealthy you get. That’s because for each week of competition, you earn a $1,000 allowance. Like the other prizes, this one got a boost as well recently, from $750 to the current total. This revelation was made on the air during BB 19 when two houseguests talked about how long they would have to stay in the house. These two, Jessica Graf and Cody Nickson, are now married with 3 kids and a 4th on the way.
So far the remaining contestants on BB 25 have made a guaranteed $6,000 each for making it to at least Week 6 as of September 9, 2023.
Big Brother contestants basically get paid the standard base weekly stipend other reality TV cast get paid on shows like Survivor and Love Is Blind. Unlike real actors on shows, reality TV contestants aren’t under Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) that is essentially a union to ensure actors get paid more.
Of course, nobody is making nearly as much as talented host Julie Chen Moonves. It’s believed that she is making as much as the season runner-up wins… per episode! This figure is based on her estimated $3 million salary divided by the number of episodes in a Big Brother season, usually 40, to make ~$75,000/episode. But since the season is super-long this time around, she stands to make even more!