The Miss Universe Prizes for the Winner, Runners Up & Special Awardees

If there is one thing that is admirable in the Miss Universe pageant is that no one goes back home without anything.

The Miss Universe winner gets to go home with a number of prizes in cash and in kind. From a year’s representation as an WME|IMG talent, a year’s stay in a posh condo in NYC, clothes and gifts from sponsors, to a monthly stipend…the MU winner has it made. Just to recap, here are the prizes a MU winner gets to enjoy:

  • A year-long salary as Miss Universe
  • Luxury accommodations in a New York City apartment for the duration of her reign, including living expenses
  • A one-year supply of haircare products and tools from Farouk Systems, the makers of CHI Haircare
  • A shoe wardrobe from Chinese Laundry Shoes & Accessories
  • Personal services including membership to Gravity Fitness @ Le Parker Meridien Hotel and hair services from John Barrett Salon
  • A modeling portfolio by leading fashion photographers
  • Dermatology and skincare services
  • A professional health and nutrition consultation
  • Dental services
  • Professional representation by The Miss Universe Organization
  • Extensive travel representing sponsors and charitable partners
  • Access to various events including casting opportunities, movie premiers, screenings, Broadway shows, and launch parties
  • And personal appearance wardrobe and styling by the official Miss Universe Organization fashion stylist.

UPDATE (May 19, 2019) – according to a source close to a former Miss Universe winner, the prize money of the pageant is split into a monthly salary. At the end of her reign, depending on the number of endorsements and public appearances that the Miss Universe winner is able to bring into the organization, gets a bonus. Hence the more money the MUOrg makes out of the winner, the bigger her bonus is at the end of her reign. Which means having more endorsement deals a reigning winner gets throughout her reign, the bigger the cheque she gets from the Miss Universe organization. It is also rumored that a recent American winner’s bonus was one zero short to that of a recent Filipina winner’s bonus by the end of their respective reigns…
It is reported (in a Spanish news media outlet)  that the Miss Universe winner gets to go home with a total prize approximately US$ 250,000 in a year (including sponsor perks). In the 90’s the Miss Universe salary is said to be at U$ 40,000. But one thing that most people don’t see are the prizes of the runners up down to the semi-finalists. Unverified insider claims that the first runner up gets a cash prize of US$ 3,000, the 2nd runner up gets US$2,000. The rest of the finalist and semi-finalist get US$1,000 and US$500 cash respectively. Special awardees also get a cash prize of US$1,000 each. Let’s not forget to mention that all the candidates get to bring home their Sherri Hill opening dresses, their Yamamay swimsuits plus gift bags from sponsors Chi & Biosilk, Chinese Laundry, OPI and other hair  & make up sponsors.

But for those not that aware, these prizes are said to be far smaller compared to the winners during the 1980’s. In the past, the winners in the 70’s until the 90’s would receive cash prizes reportedly ranging from US$25,000 to $40,000 and additional prizes from sponsors amounting until $100,000 to $250,000. It is also rumored that even back in 2013, Miss Universe 3rd runner up Ariella Arida received a cash prize of US$2,000 (although some more reliable reports put at at US$1,000). Same goes to the 5th placer in the pageant.
With that in mind, we can say that the Miss Universe pageant loves its candidates that it won’t allow them to leave empty-handed.

* 2016 Miss Universe Program book

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