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

Updated on February 6, 2019
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Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She researches and shares remedies for using certain products for illnesses.

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 12 other contestants without some compensation.

"Celebrity Big Brother 2"
"Celebrity Big Brother 2" | Source

'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.

Reality Shows
"Big Brother"
"Celebrity Big Brother"
Number of Seasons
20
2
Number of Weeks
13 Weeks
4 Weeks
Number of Days
99 Days
29 Days
Season Time
Summer Months
Winter Months
Number of Episodes
13
13
Number of Houseguests
12
12
Grand Prize
$500,000
$250,000
Runner-Up
$50,000
$50,000
American's Favorite Player
$25,000
$25,000
Weekly Stipend
$1,000
$1,000
Sign-Up Fee
------
$200,000
When Paid
End of Season
End of Season
Air Time
One or more times each week
At least 3 times a week
Jury
Sequestered and paid $1,000/week
No Jury House
Winner does not receive the weekly stipend.

'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.

'Celebrity Big Brother 2' Cast

Celebrity Big Brother is in its second season. Since it is a short season, it airs three times weekly on CBS. The current cast included at the beginning Tamar Braxton, Anthony Scaramucci, Dina Lohan, Natalie Eva Marie, Tom Green, Jonathan Bennett, Lolo Jones, Ryan Lochte, Joey Lawrence, Kandi Burruss, Kato Kaelin, and Ricky Williams. As of this writing, all the men have been evicted except Tom and Ricky. Tom is the current Head of Household (HOH) and Ricky is on the block.

Former White House communications director Scaramucci left the show on Day 6 because he was never a real contestant. The other houseguests and viewers did not know this until he was missing. He returned and was part of a veto competition for the real houseguests.

Julie Chen Moonves
Julie Chen Moonves | Source

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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