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USA Insider Race to Survive: Alaska

What Can People Win On Survival Shows Like 'Race To Survive: Alaska'?

The winning Race to Survive: Alaska team gets a cash prize, but how does it compare to other survival shows?

By James Grebey
Race To Survive Alaska Contestants4

Would you like to make $500,000? All you need to do is get a buddy and then make your way across 100 miles of dangerous, untamed Alaskan wilderness without any food or trails. Another catch is there are seven other teams of two trying to get there first, so to get the prize money you need to hike, climb, swim and kayak faster than the competition over the course of six races — all while attempting to stay alive.

How to Watch

Catch up with Race to Survive: Alaska on the USA Network app.

That’s the premise of Race to Survive: Alaska, which premieres on Monday, April 3 at 11 p.m. ET/PT with a supersized episode that will follow WWE's Monday Night RAW. The winning Race to Survive team will take home a tidy half a million dollars for their efforts. Is it worth the hardships of the Alaskan wilderness? Especially when there’s only a one in eight chance that you’ll win the prize? Your mileage may vary.

RELATED: Everything To Know About USA's Intense New Competition Series Race To Survive: Alaska

Not all survival shows have comparable rewards, however. While $500,000 might be enough incentive for this trial, there are other shows where the contestants get nothing. And yet, there are still people who go on these shows trying to brave the wilderness. Here’s what the prizes are on some other survival shows.   


Ever since its first season in 2000, Survivor has famously offered its winner a prize of $1,000,000. However, even those who are voted off the island stand to gain a nice chunk of change. The runner-up gets $100,000, third place $85,000, and even those who are voted out earlier still get some money. The first off the island gets $3,500, which isn't bad for last place. As a bonus, any contestants who come back for the finale or reunion specials gets $10,000 — a good incentive to get even those who had a miserable time or left on bad terms to come back for a little extra drama. 


Alone, a History survival competition series, takes 10 people every season and dumps them into the remote wilderness, where they need to survive using minimal tools. They do so with no contact with other people, save for an occasional medical check-in, for as long as possible — sometimes up to a year. They can tap out at any time, but whoever lasts on their own longer than the competition wins $500,000. That is until Season 7, which upped the prize money to $1 million.

Win the Wilderness

In this 2020 Netflix series (which originally aired on BBC Two), six couples compete not to win a cash prize but a house. Whichever pair impresses Duane and Rena Ose the most gets their homestead, which is located near Denali National Park, 100 miles from the nearest road, and only accessible by plane. 

Naked and Afraid

At least the contestants on Race to Survive Alaska have clothes. The contestants in Discovery Channel’s series Naked and Afraid are dropped nude into the wilderness with a stranger (who is also nude). Together, they need to survive for 21 days. What’s their reward if they make it? Zip. Nada. The contestants are doing it for the love of the game, though the producers do cover travel and reportedly give them $5,000 to make up for lost wages.

​​Tune in on Monday, April 3 at 11 p.m. ET/PT on USA Network for the Race to Survive: Alaska premiere. Catch more survival shows on Peacock now.

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