'Big Brother': How Much Do Houseguests Get Paid?

Updated on September 9, 2019
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Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes about interesting things.


Fans of Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother have often asked if the houseguests get paid. They also want to know how much each person is paid.

The first answer is yes they get paid. The amount they get paid depends on how long they stay in the house. There are other incentives during their stay as well as the grand prize to the person who wins the competition.

How much the contestants may cash in include the following ways.

  • base sign up fee
  • weekly fee
  • grand prize for winner
  • contests during the stay
  • cash amount for runner up
  • cash award for American's favorite player

There is a lot of money at stake, but it is not the same for contestants on Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother since the latter reality show is much shorter than the summer season.

It would be foolish to think people spend all summer in a house with a group of contestants without some compensation.

'Big Brother' Summer Session

The summer season of the reality show is 13 weeks. That's the entire summer. Houseguests get paid each week they stay in the house. That amount used to be $750 until a few years ago. Now the weekly stipend is understood to be $1,000. That's why they fight so hard to stay in the game as many weeks as possible.

Houseguests who are evicted before jury do not get any additional funds. However, those who go to the jury house after eviction still get the $1,000 each week for just chilling. After all, they are still part of the show.

Viewers discovered how much contestants get paid during Big Brother 19 when Jessica Graf and Cody Nickson were discussing their personal finances on the live feeds. They were calculating the number of weeks they needed to stay in the house in order to get a set amount of money.

Therefore, for 13 weeks the competitors could make up to $13,000. Those who win the two top prizes do not get the weekly stipend. The winner gets the grand prize of $500,000, The runner-up gets $50,000. American's favorite player gets $25,000. No one gets paid anything until after the season is over.

"Big Brother" Season 21


Cast of "Big Brother 21"

Big Brother is in its 21st season that started out with 16 new houseguests on June 25, 2019, and will end on September 25, 2019, with a 90-minute finale. However, they began beginning evicted as soon as the reality show got started. A few houseguests stayed in the game only a few weeks.

The age range of the contestants is from 22 to 54 years old. In fact, there are three 22-year-old contestants.

David Alexander, 29 Photographer Atlanta, Georgia

Holly Allen, 31 Wine safari guide Los Angeles, California

Nicole Anthony, 24 Preschool aide Long Island, New York

Tommy Bracco, 28 Broadway dancer Staten Island, New York

Kathryn Dunn, 29 Digital marketing executive Dallas, Texas

Kemi Fakunle, 25 Marketing strategist Brooklyn, New York

Cliff Hogg III, 54 Petroleum engineer Houston, Texas

Ovi Kabir, 22 College student Knoxville, Tennessee

Nick Maccarone, 27 Therapist Sewell, New Jersey

Jack Matthews, 28 Fitness trainer Tampa, Florida

Jackson Michie, 24 Server Los Angeles, California

Jessica Milagros, 37 Plus-size model Oak Park, Illinois

Christie Murphy, 28 Boutique owner Keyport, New Jersey

Sam Smith, 31 Truck driver Mountain Top, Pennsylvania

Analyse Talavera, 22 College soccer star Simi Valley, California

Isabella Wang, 22 Public health analyst Los Angeles, California

'Celebrity Big Brother'

According to TMZ, contestants on Celebrity Big Brother reportedly get paid $200,000 just for signing up to appear on the show. Some A-list celebrities have allegedly refused to go on the show because they wanted more than the $200,000 sign-up fee.

When celebrities appear on some shows, they earmark their winnings for their favorite charities. Big Brother does not require them to do so. However, that does not keep them from donating from their winnings, if they desire to do so.

Reality Shows
"Big Brother"
"Celebrity Big Brother"
Number of Seasons
Number of Weeks
13 Weeks
4 Weeks
Number of Days
99 Days
29 Days
Season Time
Summer Months
Winter Months
Number of Episodes
Number of Houseguests
Grand Prize
American's Favorite Player
Weekly Stipend
Sign-Up Fee
When Paid
End of Season
End of Season
Air Time
3 times each week
At least 3 times a week
Sequestered and paid $1,000/week
No Jury House
Winner does not receive the weekly stipend.

Host Julie Chen Moonves

Julie Chen has hosted Big Brother since the beginning. Therefore, it makes sense for her to host Celebrity Big Brother.even those she takes a pay cut for doing so.

She revealed that because Celebrity Big Brother is much shorter, her pay is reduced from the regular season.

Julie has an exit interview with those voted off both shows. The host knows the game so well that she has interesting conversations with those who have been evicted.

Everybody Gets Paid

Everyone gets paid whether they are on the regular Big Brother reality show or on Celebrity Big Brother. It is understandable that houseguests would get paid. After all, they give up their jobs to participate. They still have bills to pay even though they are away from home.


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