Unveiling 'The Amazing Race' Runner-Up Reward: What's in Store Beyond First Place?

Winning 'The Amazing Race' isn't the only way to snag a cash prize — there's a surprise for more than just the first-place finishers!

Stephanie Harper - Author

Mar. 13 2024, Updated 2:34 p.m. ET

Official key art for 'The Amazing Race'
Source: CBS

There's a reason The Amazing Race has been going strong since 2001. The show is currently on its 36th season! Each season focuses on 11 teams of two traveling high and low across the globe in an attempt to win a massive cash prize of $1 million. Taking home a $1 million reward for winning such a difficult show is incredibly life-changing.

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People who choose to participate in The Amazing Race know that they are going to have to deal with some very tough challenges on their road to the finish line. Now, we know the first-place winners take home a whopping million-dollar reward upon finishing the game, but what about the second-place runner-up? Here's what you should know.

Longtime host Phil Keogha dons a wide brim straw sun hat and white patterned button-up as he presents an 'Amazing Race' team with a clue.
Source: Kit Karzen/CBS
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Is there a second place prize on 'The Amazing Race'?

Luckily, there's good news for people who participate in The Amazing Race without ultimately finishing in the first place! According to IB Times, the runner-ups also get to take home some money. The team eliminated in 11th place takes home $1,500. Each team eliminated after that gets an increase in funds.

In order from 10th to 4th place, runner-up teams take home $2,500, $3,000, $3,500, $4,000, $5,000, $6,000, and $7,000. The team that finishes in third place takes home $10,000 and the second-place duo earns $25,000. Whether you actually win the show or not, it still seems worthwhile to participate with all this money on the line.

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Aside from money, what else do contestants win on 'The Amazing Race'?

Some of the other prizes made available on The Amazing Race include trips and cars. Keep in mind that everything is taxed. When it comes to taking advantage of the trip prizes, things are not as perfect as they might seem.

(L-R): Derek Williams, Shelisa Williams, Maya Mody, Rohan Mody, and Angie Butler smile on the beach in Season 36 of 'The Amazing Race.'
Source: Kit Karzen/CBS
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Mark "Abba" Abbattista from Season 21 previously told The A.V. Club, "You don't get to go on any of your trips till after your season airs … you pay taxes because it's considered income as a prize."

"So if the trip is worth $10,000, guess what? You owe Uncle Sam $3,500. And they're not all-inclusive," Mark told the outlet. "Your air is paid for, and your hotel, and they include some other things like massages or a snorkel trip … but all the food is not included. So you're spending money and going to places that you're not necessarily interested in.”

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He also added, "I don't know if a lot of people ever use the trip or not, because it is an expense, and not everyone has the resources to do that. It sounds good in theory, but I think a fair amount of them don't get used."

(L-R): Karishma Cordero and Kishori Turner wear hot pink tank tops and black leggings while competing in Season 36 of 'The Amazing Race.'
Source: Kit Karzen/CBS

Mark mentioned that a lot of The Amazing Race contestants likely sell the car they win during their time on the reality show. Anyone who chooses to keep the car they win has to pay taxes and insurance for it out of their own pocket.

New episodes of The Amazing Race air Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS. Stream the next day on Paramount Plus.

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