Netflix's 'The Circle' Features a Grand Prize That Only One Influencer Can Win at the End

It's not uncommon for reality competition shows to offer second place monetary prizes, but Netflix's 'The Circle' only rewards its winner.

Chrissy Bobic - Author

May 2 2024, Updated 4:30 p.m. ET

'The Circle' Season 6 cast reacts to an alert.
Source: Netflix

The prize for The Circle hasn't always been the same during its first five seasons on Netflix. The first three seasons featured a $100,000 prize, but producers heightened the stakes to $150,000 for the fourth season.

However, for Seasons 5 and 6, the grand prize reverted back to $100,000. While it's unclear why there was a change, some fans now want to know if there's a second-place prize on The Circle.

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It's not uncommon for reality shows to offer monetary prizes for runner-up contestants. For instance, in Big Brother, the first-place winner receives $750,000, while the second-place contestant pockets $75,000. And in Season 40 of Survivor, the winner was given a $2 million prize, while the runner-up walked away with a $100,000 consolation prize. So, it certainly isn't unheard of!

Kyle Fuller looks shocked during Season 6 of 'The Circle.'
Source: Netflix
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Does 'The Circle' have a second-place prize?

As of now, The Circle doesn't award the runner-up a second-place prize. Throughout any given season, there are two influencers every couple of days who get the power to block one player.

But in the finale, just one player is named influencer and they get the $100,000 prize money. While that prize may pale in comparison to what other reality competition shows offer, it's also the promise of what it can offer for some winners.

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In September 2021, Season 3 winner James Jefferson told Parade he planned not to be "foolish" with his winnings. And, while he joked to The Things that the amount he won was equivalent to just a few months' worth of rent in Los Angeles, he had big plans.

"I want to manage the money correctly so I can keep building on top of it," James told Parade. "I want that $100,000 to turn into $1 million, [and] I want that million to turn into $10 million."

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Are 'The Circle' contestants paid to be on the show?

Since all The Circle contestants compete for one massive prize each season, it's hard not to wonder if they're at least paid a stipend to remain sequestered for filming. No one from the show has revealed that they were paid to be part of it, outside of the promise of a potential $100,000 check. But that could be because, for The Circle, filming lasts less than a month.

Other similar reality shows often take up to a few months to finish filming. Since The Circle contestants only have to put their lives on hold for a few weeks, give or take, it makes sense that they likely aren't paid to be there.

All six seasons of The Circle are now streaming on Netflix.

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