Vince Lombardi said Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.
And to the victor go the spoils. Sporting champions get to participate in many time-honored traditions, from hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup to drinking from the milk bottle at Indy. They also receive some pretty cool swag, including the Green Jacket at Augusta, the gold belt buckle at the National Finals Rodeo and the Venus Rosewater dish at Wimbledon.
While hardware, belts, sombreros, and oaken buckets are nice, cash is king – because everybody likes getting a Plump Payout. Here are the cash rewards for several of the top events in sports.
The richest event on the PGA Tour is the Players Championship, which offers a $13.5 million purse and $2.25 million payout to the winner. The U.S. Open is the spendiest of golf’s four majors, paying $2.16 million to the winner. Tiger Woods earned $2,070,000 for winning this year’s Masters. The PGA pays $1.98 million, while the Open Championship has the smallest purse, at $10.5 million [but don’t forget that the Open also awards the Claret Jug, the slickest trophy in golf].
The U.S. Open offers a $53 million purse, with $3.8 allotted to each single’s champion. At Wimbledon, the All-England Club distributes a $45.5 million pot, with $2.98 million going to the winner.
Boston was the City of Champions in 2018. The Red Sox dominated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, earning each player $416,000. The Patriots claimed their sixth Lombardi Trophy by winning Super Bowl LIII. While the game was a yawner, every Pats player received $201,000 for the victory.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup was played in Moscow, with France beating Croatia 4-2 to claim their second title. The tournament’s overall prize pot was $400 million, with $38 million going to Les Bleus. Both are record payouts for soccer’s most prestigious championship.
In 2018, the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers met in the NBA Finals for the fourth year in a row. After completing the sweep and claiming their third title in four years, the Dubs earned $221,000 per player.
The Indianapolis 500 – The Greatest Spectacle in Racing – offers an overall purse of more than $13 million. In addition to receiving the Borg-Warner Trophy and drinking from the bottle of milk in the winner’s circle, the champion earns over $2.5 million for his 200-lap Sunday drive.
After the Masters, the Stanley Cup playoffs is the most entertaining tournament in sports. Winning the two-month slugfest requires capturing four straight series, many that go seven games. The winners get their name inscribed on the Cup, as well as $175,000 per man.
NASCAR is the only organization in sports that launches each season with its most important and prestigious event. Contested each February, the Daytona 500 is the richest stock car race on the circuit, paying $1.5 million to the winner.