America’s Got Talent star: $1 million prize actually worth about $200,000

America’s Got Talent‘s fifth winner, Michael Grimm, received only about $200,000 as his prize for winning the show, which advertises its prize as $1 million. That’s because he took the lump sum, instead of getting paid over time, and

During the show’s second season, I analyzed the fine print of the show’s $1 million prize in detail, discovering that it was worth about $375,000 after taxes, but that was based on 2007-era assumptions about tax rates. The key is that the prize is not $1 million: it’s $25,000 a year or a lump sum.

The Sun-Herald reports that Grimm ultimately received “a little more than $200,000, he said, once the network got its cut of more than 50 percent and he paid taxes on the lump sum he received.” It’s not clear what NBC’s “cut” means, whether he had to pay them something, or if it’s just referring to the reduced value if one opts for the lump sum.

Sunday, Grimm’s grandparents moved into a new house; theirs was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, and Grimm vowed to build them a new house when he won in 2010. That was delayed by shoddy work done by an unlicensed contractor that had to be fixed, according to the paper.

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.