The 'BB17' Contestants Are Worth How Much?

by Emily Lackey

Sometimes, when I have some free time, I think about what each of the Big Brother houseguests would do with the show's promised $500,000 cash prize. (I mean, as an entertainment writer, what else would I do?) On one hand, it seems obvious that some of the contestants would use the money for practical means. But, what about the houseguests who seem to have publicity and fame on their mind more than the money? I’m sure $500,000 wouldn’t hurt them in the long run — but it does make me wonder why the prize money seems to come in a distant second to being in the public eye for some of them. Is it because the Big Brother houseguests' net worth is already high?

It's a question I obviously had to set out to answer — and, turns out, it’s pretty easy to find out what each of the Big Brother contestants likely make in their respective professions. I mean, I don't have direct access to their bank accounts or anything — but, considering that before coming into the house they all discussed what they do for work and how they would use the money if they won, we can make some educated guesses based off of the national average salary for their professions and how they said they'd spend the prize money.

Of course, these guesses don't factor in anything like their family's potential net worth, or income from other sources — but, still, it could give us somewhat of an idea of how much these guys are worth.

So take a look at what each of the contestants are worth. Does this change your opinion of who should win Big Brother 17?

Audrey Middleton

Audrey is a Digital Media Consultant, which sounds super fancy to me, but unfortunately only makes, on average, $36,297 per year.

Austin Matelson

Dear ol’ Judas may have worked his way up in the world of wrestling, but he had to put an end to that when he called out his coach on harassment charges. Considering his quick exit, his higher education (hello, student loans!), and his current Athilates partnership, I’m assuming he could use the $500,000 more than the fame he claims to be in the house for.

Becky Burgess

As a retail manager, Becky is probably sitting pretty with an average salary of $55,825. But since she’s pretty well versed in retail skills, she may be making well above the national average.

Clay Honeycutt

He might be good looking, but Clay is probably as broke as a joke. As a full-time graduate student, pursuing his Master’s Degree in Sports Management, something tells me that Clay is living high on a very tight student budget. Maybe he’s teaching and getting a small stipend if he’s lucky?

Da’Vonne Rogers

As a poker dealer, Da’Vonne might earn, on average, $37,491 a year. At least, that’s the national average. And a pretty good penny. But considering she also lives in Los Angeles — where the cost of living is pretty high — and has a daughter, her take home might be less than this.

Jace Agolli

As a personal trainer, Jace could be making anywhere between $20,429 and $84,072. It largely depends on his experience, his client base, and whether or not he’s working for anyone else. Although, maybe after his appearance on Big Brother he’s scored some awesome publicity and is now making well above the average.

Jackie Ibarra

Jackie has lived a pretty public life recently: As a former Miami Heat dancer and two-time competitor on The Amazing Race, Jackie has probably earned herself a pretty penny from public appearances.

James Huling

As a retail associate, James is most likely not rolling in the dough. The national average salary for retail is $33,000, but my guess is that his take home is actually lower than that since he lives in Texas and has a young daughter.

Jason Roy

Jason might need this money more than anyone. Sure he lives at home in his mom’s basement, but as a grocery store cashier, he’s probably not making any more than $15 per hour. If that. The low man on the Big Brother financial totem pole, Jason probably could have used this money the most.

Jeff Weldon

As an account manager, Jeff probably makes a pretty penny: The national average salary for his position is $57,000, which isn’t anything to turn your nose up at.

John McGuire

OK, here’s where we get into the big guns, because, as a dentist, Johnny Mac may be already making six figures. The national median salary for dentists is $123,431. However, he has talked openly about wanting to pay off his student loans — so all of that medical school debt might be making his hefty salary null and void for the first few years of his career.

Julia Nolan

As a marketing intern, Julia is probably worth the least of all the Big Brother houseguests: If she makes a salary, it’s probably minimal, as most internships are unpaid.

Liz Nolan

Liz is a marketing coordinator in Miami, where she probably makes a decent salary: The national average is $44,609, which is definitely not an amount I would turn down.

Meg Maley

Meg is a server in New York City, but depending on the type of restaurant she works in and what her clientele is like, she may be making some serious dolla dolla bills. Sure, servers don't make much when it comes to hourly wages — but those tips can add up big time.

Shelli Poole

As an interior designer, Shelli probably makes upwards of $42,896, which is the median salary. But, depending on her client base and the spaces that she is designing, she may be worth way more than that.

Steve Moses

Bless his heart, poor little Steve Moses is a full-time college student, so I’m going to assume that he is worth about as much as I was worth in college, which was a duvet cover from IKEA and a 24-pack of Easy Mac that I got at Costco.

Vanessa Rousso

All right, folks. Time to roll out the big money making guns, because this is where the net worth gets interesting: Rousso is a professional poker player who has won over $3.5 million since she began playing. Yeah, something tells me she really doesn’t need that money as much as some of the others might.

So, does this affect your opinion about who should win the game? I know it does for me. It’s why I have been rooting for Jason from the get-go.

For more on this season of Big Brother, check out Bustle's podcast The Diary Room.

Image: CBS (18)