Blind singer Kodi Lee America’s Got Talent winner, going home with fame, glory and a jaw dropping prize of $1 million (£800,390) prize and a headline show in Las Vegas.
Ever since his mind blowing first audition, where Gabrielle Union made him her Golden Buzzer act. The autistic 22-year-old has continued to wow the crowds and judges alike with his phenomenal vocal and piano skills.
Winners of the regular America’s Got Talent series are given these life-changing prizes, which makes the $25,000 given to the winners of AGT: The Champions seem a little disappointed. So can we expect to see Kodi and his family living a life of total luxury? Well, not exactly.
Why Kodi Lee America’s Got Talent winner won’t make a millionaire
Look into the small print and the truth behind Simon Cowell’s million-dollar pledge becomes a little more difficult. A disclaimer runs at the end of every episode reading: ‘The prize, which totals $1,000,000, is payable in a financial annuity over forty years, or the contestant may choose to receive the present cash value of such annuity.’
Sound like a lot of long words? Here’s what it means.
In 2011, Forbes reported that anyone who wins the talent competition will be paid $25,000 (just over £20,000) a year over 40 years. As many AGT winners are children, this amount would see them through into middle age, making it the better option for most young champions.
Obviously this amount gets taxed. But even without that, nobody is becoming an instant millionaire off the back of America’s Got Talent.
Alternatively, winners can choose to take an upfront cash prize of around $300,000 (£240,117). Which may make sense for an older winner, but will naturally be in a higher income tax bracket.
So you may not become a millionaire overnight, but at least there’s the chance to have your own Vegas residency and make a name for yourself in the entertainment capital of the world. Right?
Not quite. Kodi will perform a three-night stint at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino in November. Which will be an amazing experience, but really isn’t enough time to take the city by storm.
But hey, you can’t put a price on talent like Kodi’s.