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Game Show Prizes

Game Show Prizes

Bob Boden (Vice President of Production, Fox Reality Channel) gives expert video advice on: If I win money or prizes on a game show, how soon can I collect them?; If I win money or prizes on a game show, how much do I have to pay in taxes?; What is the biggest game show prize won to date?

If I win money or prizes on a game show, how soon can I collect them?

The standard rule is that you will get your prize winnings within 90 or 120 days after the show has aired. You may tape a show in November, it may not air until March, and you may not get paid until June. That's the standard procedure.

If I win money or prizes on a game show, how much do I have to pay in taxes?

When you win money on a game show, that money is your income and is applied to your tax return for the year. So whatever taxes you normally pay for the year increase by virtue of your added income. It's that simple. You don't lose any more of your winnings than you would lose if you were to earn that money in some other way, but you do have to realize that if you win prizes you are taxed on that merchandise. So, if you win a car and you're in a tax bracket that taxes you at a third or half of what you make, your car is going to be taxed by a third or half of the value of that car, so if you don't have that money to pay the taxes for the car, you may have to forfeit that car.

What is the biggest game show prize won to date?

I think there are about two dozen people now in the millionaire's club who have won more than a million dollars on various game shows. Many of them have come from “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” but there are so many game shows now that offer a million dollars as there top prize. There will be more and more people added to that club every year. The top winner to date is Brad Rutter who was the “Jeopardy” champion and defeated Ken Jennings to win $2 million in addition to what he had previously won on “Jeopardy”. And he has the record for the moment but it will be beaten.