Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Reality Show Millionaires! (Not Quite)

From today's Reality Blurred comes an explanation of the small print on the big prize won on Treasure Hunters by the three students from the university up the street. It doesn't take a genius to see that the prize isn't quite the hefty windfall the show made it out to be. Still, congrats, kids! Spend it wisely. Here's the top of the story:

Geniuses win $3 million on Treasure Hunters

The Geniuses lived up to their name on the Treasure Hunters finale, taking home the treasure, although not by much. While the Geniuses were initially far ahead, the Southie Boys and Air Force caught up, and they were all inside a little set that looked like an ancient pyramid version of the Big Brother house, with cutouts in the stones for the cameras to shoot through.

None of the teams could figure out the final clue; on the Genius team, Sam fell asleep, but then Francis had a vision and figured out the cryptex: FSKEY, for Francis Scott Key. That eventually led them into a small chamber with a pile of gold.

It wasn’t until the last few seconds of the live finale that they learned its actual value: $3 million. It’s the largest single cash prize given on a reality show, although ultimately each team member gets $1 million, although that’s still better than The Amazing Race. There was, however, some fine print that the Geniuses will learn about later; we saw it in the closing credits that basically says they won’t get all of the treasure today:
“The $3,000,000 prize is payable in the form of a monthly annuity payment to each winning team member paid over 25 years totaling $1,000,000 or any winning team member may choose to receive a cash prize equivalent to the present cash value of his/her annuity.”

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

$40k/year is antihistamine money... although if they are accounting for inflation and such it ends up being less by present value at the end.

Still pretty good.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heck, I wouldn't mind an extra $1K a month. There's something to be said for an annuity.

4:01 PM  
Anonymous carlo.74 said...

I think the 25 years is too much. It's another one of those corporate bullshitt wherein they lead you to believe in one thing when it is completely different form what they are saying. You won't even get to feel like a millionaire after a year.

3:03 AM  
Anonymous renita said...

it's not quite the same as being handed a million dollars, no -- but seeing as i'm 25 right now, i wouldn't mind a guaranteed 40,000-a-year income for the next 25 years. hell, that's more than i make at my real job. and if you invest it properly, you can have some fun and still be set for the rest of your life.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Mike M. said...

If they use the same discount rate as the lottery, the present value of the one million dollar pay out should be a tad below $300,000. Not a shabby pay day, but hardly a completely unprecedented sum of money either. Still, a fun sum to pocket at that, or any age. If invested properly, should yeild about $15,000 stream of income for life including an inflation buffer. Consider it a great vacation anuity. Every year, you take the income off the $300,000 and you get to take a really nice (OK, moderately nice) vacation.

7:59 PM  

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