Why 'America's Got Talent' Winners the Mayyas Will Not Get the $1 Million Prize Right Away – Good Housekeeping

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Here’s the full breakdown of how much AGT winners are awarded.
Congratulations to the winners of America’s Got Talent season 17,

The Mayyas!
The all-female Lebanese group of two dozen dancers garnered the coveted title on Wednesday night’s nerve-wracking 2022 finale, beating out pole dancer Kristy Sellars and country singer Drake Milligan, who many thought would be the uncontested winner.
"Winner’s of America’s Got Talent season 17," the dance troupe wrote on Instagram about the big moment. "We did IT ✨ Lebanon, this one’s for you 🇱🇧❤️."
Throughout their time on America’s Got Talent, the Mayyas quickly became a fan-favorite act amongst other hopefuls, which also included Metaphysic and Chapel Hart. As fans were drawn into their electric performances onstage, so were AGT judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Sofía Vergara and Howie Mandel. Their combination of strategic dance moves and alluring visuals were so mesmerizing that Sofía gave them a golden buzzer.
When host Terry Crews declared the Mayyas as the latest winners of the NBC competition show, he also announced they earned a $1 million prize and a chance to headline a show in Las Vegas. But the monetary reward comes with a catch. At the end of each AGT episode, a disclaimer clarifies that "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."
When Forbes did an analysis back in 2011 of how much the contestants actually win, the outlet found an interesting outcome. Should the winner decide to split the $1 million prize over 40 years, then they may only receive about $25,000 per year before taxes. But if they choose to receive the money in its entirety a.k.a. “present cash value,” their prize would come out to about $300,000 before it’s divided up by taxes.
Although AGT hasn’t shared a reason for why the prize money is offered through these two options, it might be due to accommodate the range of contestants participating. If the winner is on the younger side, they may want to receive a sum over four decades instead of it all in one shot. The same could be true for an AGT champion who is older and may prefer the money in a large chunk versus smaller payments. That said, neither options necessarily equate to $1 million, per the magazine.
Still, just because the show has this stipulation doesn’t mean winners don’t have other forms of success afterward. Season 5 winner Jackie Evancho continues to build a singing career for herself, while season 11 winner Grace VanderWaal just released the movie Hollywood Stargirl in July on Disney+.
There’s no doubt that the Mayyas are about to have a career explosion and it’s going to be epic.
As the entertainment and news editorial assistant for Good Housekeeping, Adrianna (she/her) writes about everything TV, movies, music and pop culture. She graduated from Yeshiva University with a B.A. in journalism and a minor in business management. She covers shows like The Rookie, 9-1-1 and Grey’s Anatomy, though when she’s not watching the latest show on Netflix, she’s taking martial arts or drinking way too much coffee.

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