Becoming a Big Brother champion on CBS is a big deal in the reality competition landscape. The flagship series’ trophy is heralded as one of the most difficult to capture considering the game’s length of play and the social and strategic abilities (typically) needed to triumph.
But, there’s another accolade that’s revered as well. And that’s America’s Favorite Houseguest. Barring Big Brother 8, one competitor has won extra cash for their efforts every season since Big Brother 7 in 2006.
And as the name indicates, the decision of who gets it is entirely up to America.
At the end of a season, Big Brother fans are given the opportunity to vote for a houseguest who they enjoy the most. Whether it was because of their eccentric personality, underdog story, or incredible gameplay, 16 previous mainline series players have won a five-figure check as well as the bragging rights as that season’s most beloved character.
It was initially known as America’s Favorite Juror in Big Brother 7, 9, and 10 before the opportunity opened up for the season’s entire roster to receive votes starting with Big Brother 11 in 2009. The prize money sat at $25,000, before it was increased to $50,000 at the end of Big Brother 23 in 2021.
Winning America’s Favorite Houseguest is a big deal, especially if the recipient hopes to continue an entertainment career, or they want to return for another Big Brother campaign. All in all eight men and eight women have earned the flagship series’ fan-favorite feat. Also, three men won America’s Favorite Houseguest in the three U.S. iterations of Celebrity Big Brother.
Virtually every competitor who has received the title wasn’t actually victorious in their season except for Taylor Hale, who won Big Brother 24 and America’s Favorite Houseguest last year.
Here’s who won each season:
- Janelle Pierzina – Big Brother 7
- James Zinkand – Big Brother 9
- Keesha Smith – Big Brother 10
- Jeff Schroeder – Big Brother 11
- Britney Haynes – Big Brother 12
- Jeff Schroeder – Big Brother 13
- Frank Eudy – Big Brother 14
- Elissa Slater – Big Brother 15
- Donny Thompson – Big Brother 16
- James Huling – Big Brother 17
- Victor Arroyo – Big Brother 18
- Cody Nickson – Big Brother 19
- Tyler Crispen – Big Brother 20
- Nicole Anthony – Big Brother 21
- Da’Vonne Rogers – Big Brother 22
- Tiffany Mitchell – Big Brother 23
- Taylor Hale – Big Brother 24
- Ross Matthews – Celebrity Big Brother 1
- Tom Green – Celebrity Big Brother 2
- Carson Kressley – Celebrity Big Brother 3
On Nov. 9, one name will be etched into the history books as America’s Favorite Houseguest for Big Brother 25. There are a handful likely in the running to win the $50,000, and you can check out those players here.