What the Winner of 'America's Got Talent' 2021 Actually Wins

NBC is airing the America's Got Talent 2021 grand final on Wednesday, September 15, when the final 10 acts are battling it out to be the 16th winner of Simon Cowell's talent show.

At the end of the night, either Aidan Bryant, Brooke Simpson, Dustin Tavella, Gina Brillon, Jimmie Herrod, Josh Blue, Léa Kyle, Victory Brinker, the Northwell Nurse Choir or the World Taekwondo Demonstration Team will take home the 2021 grand prize.

There are a number of conditions to that prize, however, that are not mentioned on the show.

What does the winner of America's Got Talent win?

The grand prize of AGT is a headline slot at the America's Got Talent Las Vegas show, plus a cash prize of $1 million.

That Vegas show is at the Luxor casino, and is set to open on November 4, 2021. Season 14 winner Kodi Lee is also on the bill for the show, as are notable acts from former series that did not necessarily win like Preacher Lawson from Season 12, last year's third place group Light Balance and AGT and AGT: The Champions contestants Deadly Games.

Exactly when the Season 16 winner will join the live show, however, is not known: Season 15 winner Brandon Leake has yet to make his appearance on the show. Per NBC News, he is set to have a five-week stint at the start of the show's run.

As for the $1 million, that is less simple than it may appear. After winning the show, contestants get two options: They can either take the $1 million in instalments, or accept a smaller lump sum.

america's got talent vote 2021
"America's Got Talent" 2021 is about to crown its winner. NBC

This is revealed in a disclaimer at the end of the AGT credits, which reads: "The prize, which totals $1,000,000, is payable in a financial annuity over forty years, or the contestant may choose to receive the present cash value of such annuity."

That works out as $25,000 a year for 40 years. As for how much the smaller lump sum is, that has varied over time based on tax rates. In Season 2, the lump sum was around $375,000.

In 2012, however, the Sun Herald reported that Season 5 winner Michael Grimm took home a lump sum of $200,000 from winning the show.

Of course, there are other perks that are not technically part of the America's Got Talent prize package, but can be rewards of making a name for oneself on the show. Season 2 winner Terry Fator, for example, was able to sign a $100 million five-year deal to do his ventriloquist shows at the Mirage in Vegas. This deal has continued to be re-upped, with the performer still working in Vegas in what is now called the Terry Fator Theatre.

America's Got Talent Season 16 concludes on Wednesday, September 15 at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT on NBC.