Skip to main content

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

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes about interesting things.

The cast of "Big Brother," Season 21

The cast of "Big Brother," Season 21

Do Big Brother Contestants Get Paid?

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.

About 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"

"Big Brother"

Cast of Big Brother 21

The 21st season of Big Brother started out with 16 new houseguests on June 25, 2019, and ended on September 25, 2019, with a 90-minute finale. However, they began evictions 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



Atlanta, Georgia

Holly Allen


Wine safari guide

Los Angeles, California

Nicole Anthony


Preschool aide

Long Island, New York

Tommy Bracco


Broadway dancer

Staten Island, New York

Kathryn Dunn


Digital marketing executive

Dallas, Texas

Kemi Fakunle


Marketing strategist

Brooklyn, New York

Cliff Hogg III


Petroleum engineer

Houston, Texas

Ovi Kabir


College student

Knoxville, Tennessee

Nick Maccarone



Sewell, New Jersey

Jack Matthews


Fitness trainer

Tampa, Florida

Jackson Michie



Los Angeles, California

Jessica Milagros


Plus-size model

Oak Park, Illinois

Christie Murphy


Boutique owner

Keyport, New Jersey

Sam Smith


Truck driver

Mountain Top, Pennsylvania

Analyse Talavera


College soccer star

Simi Valley, California

Isabella Wang


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.

Winner does not receive the weekly stipend.

"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

Host Julie Chen Moonves

Host Julie Chen Moonves

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.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Margaret Minnicks


Thebeast237 on September 26, 2019:

That young man can deny all day long; but, his actions and his words speak volumes! Then all the cheating going via production in favor of Michie was hard to watch especially when it was so obvious that the times in that last veto were either changed or just wrong. He blatantly broke game rules and was never penalized! WHY? Because, mommie threatens to get attorneys for her little boy!


CBS has really disappointed this season! Rules are in place for EVERYONE! Why Big Brother did you allow this train wreck to happen!?

Have not decided if I will watch again! Just really disappointed!

Mimi on September 25, 2019:

I hate that a liar and cheater won. I know it’s GAME, but I don’t believe he deserves to win. I won’t watch Big Brother again.

BBFan on September 24, 2019:

Jackson’s Mommy DID get lawyers involved & if you need more proof try this on for size while your selling your bridge....

1. Volunteers to go on slop yet CHEATS! Past contestants are ALWAYS penalized by 1 penalty nomination vote whether on the block or not!! He was NOT!! Not even scolded!

2.Admits to being helped in veto competition when he & Holly are on the block & Cliff decides who goes home! Watch the video when the cheater ADMITS IT!!

Even the aired show it was most definitely a win for Nicole,in no way Jackson! Also on the show the tape was sped up during Jackson’s turn & he STILL took longer than Nicole!! It was clear as day!

Now those are just 2,yes 2 of several examples of his rampart cheating /help from production AFTER his Mommy threatened legal action w/ her lawyers!!

We won’t begin to discuss his racist or homophobic bullying of both Tommy AND Christi!!!

Now go sell your bridge to someone who ISN’T blind to CBS or Jackson’s cheating ways!!! So happy he’s a server, he’ll never make a dime in that field when he gets out hahaha

Cat on September 23, 2019:

Yes, Jackson's mother did gets lawuers involved. BB is just getting too disgusting to watch and support. Why was Jackson's background not investigated before allowing him to participate??? I cant believe CBS is going to award Holly and Jackson's behavior, words and actions all that money. You dont have to a horrible human being to win at BB. i have no doubt they will have to face a lot of backlash when they get out. Neither on one is very well liked and what an embarrassment to their family and friends. Boy, is Jackson going to blow a gasket when Holly takes the big prize when he thinks he's got it all wrapped up!!!!

Trev on September 23, 2019:

How much do vets get paid?

Lois on September 22, 2019:

I don’t think Jackson Michie should have won the last veto since he got so much help from production..I think they gave him Nicole’s time!! She should have been the real winner!! Not sure I will watch again because of the cheating..

jodi on September 22, 2019:

I thought I had read that they subtracted money from their stipend if they went against the rules. Is taht true?

nickaNicka on September 22, 2019:

You read that Jackson's mom was threatening a lawsuit and you believed it? I'm selling the Golden Gate Bridge, you interested in buying it? Just because it's on the internet does not mean it is true. lol

BBFan on September 22, 2019:

It’s all fixed the last decade anyways!! Sad, very sad! Show USE TO BE awesome but to let a racist,cheating as well as dishonest to the ‘nth degree person like Jackson make it to Final 2 with the very well known help of production is just utterly disgusting!!

I thought we all were attempting to TEACH our youth that HONESTY & INTEGRITY were great traits?? Guess not for CBS!

Oh wait, poor little Momma’s boy Jackson’s Mommy threatened LEGAL ACTION ( even though he signed a CBS contract!!) & **poof** he wins!!

Everyone should boycott CBS PERIOD,I know we all will be!!

pattyvach on September 22, 2019:

There was talk on the live feeds that 5th place got 5000 extra, 4th place 7500 extra and 3 10,000. Do we know anything about these bonus pays?