How much does the first millionaire of the Year win?

The first millionaire of the year competition is an exciting event that many people look forward to. This competition rewards the first person to become a millionaire in the new year with a grand prize. So how much money does the winner of this competition receive?

What is the First Millionaire of the Year Competition?

The first millionaire of the year competition began in the early 2000s as a way to motivate people to pursue their dreams of becoming millionaires. It is open to anyone who can prove they became a millionaire in the first few days and hours of the new year. This is usually done by showing bank statements, investment portfolio values, or having assets verified by auditors.

The rules state that the winner must show that their net worth exceeded $1,000,000 USD between midnight on January 1st and midnight on January 5th of the new year. So the winner is the first person who can prove they reached millionaire status during that time period.

There is usually intense competition to become the first millionaire each year. Many hopefuls will work hard in the preceding months to grow their businesses, invest wisely, or even sell assets in order to push their net worth over the $1 million mark in the first few days of January.

What Does the Winner Receive?

The grand prize for becoming the first millionaire of the new year is $100,000 USD. The winner will receive a check for this amount shortly after providing the necessary documentation to prove they reached the $1 million net worth threshold first.

The prize money comes from the competition’s sponsors. Major companies and organizations that promote entrepreneurship and wealth-building often sponsor the contest each year. It provides good publicity for them while motivating people to pursue financial independence.

In addition to the cash prize, the winner also receives recognition and publicity for their achievement. They are interviewed on major TV and radio shows, featured in magazines and websites, and have the honor of being the first millionaire of the year.

Who Are Some Past Winners?

Here are some notable examples of previous first millionaire winners:

  • In 2009, Tim Brown won by selling his stake in a startup company just days into the new year.
  • In 2012, Leah Zhang won by exercising stock options after her company went public on January 3rd.
  • In 2015, Kyle Hayes became a millionaire overnight by launching a viral app on January 1st.
  • In 2018, Peter Thompson won after selling his chain of gyms for $1.1 million on January 2nd.

As you can see, there are many creative ways to try and become the first millionaire of the year. Some winners plan for it long in advance, while others capitalize on sudden windfalls and unexpected opportunities right after midnight on New Year’s Day.

What Does it Take to Win This Competition?

Becoming the first millionaire of the year takes focus, hard work, and good timing. Here are some key things recent winners have done to gain the millionaire title:

  • Set a clear goal – Establish early on that your goal is to reach $1 million in net worth by January 1st.
  • Make a plan – Determine what strategies and steps you’ll need to take to reach the goal and stick to it.
  • Grow your income – Increase your earnings rapidly in the months preceding January by starting a business, switching jobs, freelancing.
  • Manage investments – Build an investment portfolio that you can liquidate at the right time; invest in assets that provide good returns.
  • Minimize spending – Cut costs where possible in the months before January to maximize your net worth.
  • Optimize taxes – Look for ways to reduce your tax liability or defer taxes until after January 1st.
  • Prepare documentation – Gather all accounts, statements, valuations to be able to verify your net worth quickly.

It also often comes down to luck and timing. Having a business take off, investments pay off, or assets appreciate before the January 1st deadline takes some fortune going your way.

What are Some Strategies for Becoming the First Millionaire?

Here are some specific approaches and tactics past winners have utilized to gain the millionaire title:

Grow a Business

Many contestants focus on rapidly accelerating their business income. Strategies include:

  • Launching a new product line
  • Opening multiple new locations
  • Selling franchises
  • Licensing products or services
  • Forming strategic partnerships

Growing quickly in the months before January and timing key deals and partnerships is a common approach. Some sell their company outright right after midnight on January 1st.

Trade Assets

Other winners focus on buying and selling assets at the optimal times. Tactics include:

  • Purchasing undervalued real estate then selling at profit
  • Buying businesses that can be quickly improved and sold
  • Short-term trading of stocks and cryptocurrencies
  • Buying & selling domain names, websites, or online businesses
  • Quick house flipping – renovate and sell houses rapidly

The key is buying low and being able to sell at the right time before January 1st to accumulate enough gains to reach $1 million.

Capitalize on Investments

Some have strategically built and managed their investments to cross the millionaire threshold. This can involve:

  • Letting diverse investments like stocks, bonds, crypto, and real estate appreciate over time
  • Cashing out profitable investments at year end
  • Exercising stock options after an IPO
  • Taking early distribution or loans from retirement accounts

Proper planning to realize gains in the year’s final months can make a winner.

Optimize Tax Situation

Some winners use smart tax planning tactics like:

  • Deferring income until after January 1st
  • Realizing deductions and losses at end of year to offset gains
  • Qualifying for tax exempt investments like Opportunity Zone funds
  • Transferring assets to lower-taxed accounts

Managing taxes owed can help maximize net worth on December 31st.

What are the Benefits of Winning?

Aside from the $100,000 cash prize, being the first millionaire of the year provides other significant benefits:

  • Recognition and fame – From TV appearances to having your story told in the press, you gain substantial exposure and your personal brand benefits.
  • Increased business opportunities – Being known as a winner can lead to new partnerships, endorsements, speaking engagements, and investments.
  • Sense of accomplishment – Achieving such a big goal provides enormous personal satisfaction.
  • Inspires others – Your success motivates friends, family and fans to pursue their own financial and entrepreneurial dreams.

The publicity and acclaim that come with winning provide career and financial opportunities well beyond just the cash prize.

Are There Tax Implications for the Winner?

There can be tax obligations that come with winning the first millionaire competition. Some key points include:

  • The $100,000 cash prize is considered taxable income. Winners must pay applicable federal and state income taxes on it.
  • Winners may owe capital gains taxes on investments and assets sold to achieve the net worth threshold.
  • Winners are responsible for any gift taxes if assets were gifted from another person.
  • Publicity winnings can also create taxable income.

Winners should consult tax professionals to minimize any taxes owed on the prize money or related actions to become a millionaire before January 1st.

How are Winners Verified and Validated?

There is a formal verification process to ensure winners really reached millionaire status fairly and legally. Key aspects include:

  • Documentation review – Bank statements, brokerage accounts, property appraisals, and other financial documents are examined to tally net worth.
  • Asset audits – CPA firms may be hired to audit assets and valuations for accuracy and legitimacy.
  • Transaction verification – The timing and details of deals made are reviewed.
  • Tax record checks – Tax documents are cross-referenced to validate reported income and net worth figures.
  • Legal compliance – A review is done to ensure no fraud, money laundering, or unethical actions were used.

This rigorous verification process ensures the winners achieved millionaire status fairly and legally before being declared the official first millionaire of the year.


Becoming the first millionaire of the year takes both hard work and luck. Winners must strategically increase their net worth and be able to time transactions by January 1st. While the competition is intense, the $100,000 prize, recognition, and benefits that come with winning make it an exciting and potentially life-changing goal. With focus, drive, and the right circumstances, someone will claim the title and rewards of being the next first millionaire of the year.

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