The Fine Print


September 16, 2010 by esarsea

Michael Grimm, winner of America's Got Talent

The wife and I watched the finals of America’s Got Talent last night, where the winner is awarded $1,000,000 and a shot at their own show in Vegas. A singer named Michael Grimm won the contest.

As the final credits were rolling at the close of the program I saw something scroll by regarding the $1,000,000 prize award. It went by too fast to read. Curious, I grabbed the DVR remote and hit rewind.

The fine print stated that the $1,000,000 prize would be awarded in the form of a 40 year annuity, or the contestant could opt for the current value of the annuity.

Michael Grimm stated that he was going to use his prize money to buy his grandparents a new house, as they had lost their home during hurricane Katrina. I hope it’s a small house. $1,000,000 paid out over 40 years will bring him $2083 per month before taxes. That’s the equivalent gross income of a $12 per hour worker.

Or Michael could take the annuity cash value option. Assuming a (potentially optimistic) 6.50% return, a 40-year $1,000,000 annuity would be worth a little more than $80,000.

I’m sure the winner of this contest will have income from other sources; record deals, endorsements, performance fees, etc. I’m sure he’ll do just fine. I am just put-off by NBC’s constant advertising of this $1,000,000 prize, and then rolling the fine print past the viewers at the close of the show.

3 thoughts on “The Fine Print

  1. torqdog says:

    As they say, the devil is in the details. ;-)

  2. Bill says:

    I believe this is where you go to JD Wentworth, or one of those cable tv advertisers who say they will cash out your structured settlement or annuity.

  3. Da Goddess says:

    Grimm’s been asking for $4000 per show here in town. Yep. Before he won. Don’t know if he’ll get it or not, even now.

    But that pay out, yes, that’s every bit what you’d expect from anyone anymore. Still $2k a month would make me happy. I’d have plenty to spare on that sort of scratch.

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September 2010

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