What's The 'Project Runway' Prize For Season 14? The Winner's Reward Has Evolved Over The Years

Project Runway was one of the original reality competitions, and pretty much immediately became one of the best. In the many years since its start in 2004, the Project Runway prize package has evolved significantly. For Season 14, the winner of Project Runway will receive a hundred thousand dollars, a cruise, a spread in Marie Clare, products and a collaboration with Sally Beauty, more products from Mary Kay, a Lexus, and a new sewing/designing studio.

If I was an aspiring fashion designer, I wouldn't look down on the chance to grab any of those prizes, but I might be a little wistful about the early days of the show, where every single prize didn't come branded with a corporate logo. Like, I'm not sure why Red Robin wanted PR contestants to make them new uniforms in Season 13 for any other reason besides publicity. Still, the prize package is definitely more than enough to jumpstart a designer's career, so it's awesome that they're being offered so much.

But, Project Runway isn't the only reality show that's changed its prizes over the years — almost every show had a period where they gave away something really strange. Let's take a look back through prizes of reality shows past.

Top Chef

Project Runway's former network buddy has steadily increased their prize over the years, from just $100,000 for Seasons 1 through 5. After that it increased to $125,000, and recently Top Chef All Stars winner Richard Blais made away with $200,000.

American Idol

Once one of the most popular reality shows on TV, American Idol's prizes also have evolved over time. According to Paywizard, the winners for the first ten seasons all made at least $1 million from their record deal. After that winners were only entitled to a single song release, which nets a significantly lower payday.

America's Next Top Model

Even though ANTM is synonymous with "Easy. Breezy. Beautiful. CoverGirl," that company only sponsored the show's prizes between Cycles 3 and 18. Now, for Cycle 22, Zappos is providing the $100,000 modeling contract.

The Amazing Race

Still a surprising success after almost 15 years, The Amazing Race manages to get $1 million for its pair of racers to take home. Sure, they have to split the money, but since most of the racers have preexisting relationships, they really get to share the whole prize anyway.


The show started with a prize of $1 million, the same prize it offers now. Simple and straightforward — I guess Survivor is one of the few reality shows not to change at all throughout its history. However, the All-Stars edition did add an additional million to be given out to the contestant who got the most votes.

Big Brother

Now, this is the OG of the OG reality shows, premiering all the way back in 2000. And, its prize is still a respectable $500,000.

Project Runway is far from the highest reality show prize out there, but it has lasted over ten years, and it always makes sure to secure roughly a dozen different sponsors to make sure that the amateur winning designer gets a good prize to their career.

Images: Barbara Nitke/Lifetime; David Moir/Bravo; Frank Micelotta/FOX; Aaron Epstein/The CW; Michael Prengler, Screen Grab, Monty Brinton/CBS (3)