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.

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.