Flab to Fabulous: Fabulously Wealthy?

I just realized something that I decided was worth its own blog post. Mull over this one, folks. The Flab to Fabulous Pageant rules say that every contestant chosen to enter the Semi-Finals will receive $500 cash. It’s in the rules here. 

There will be four semi-finalists for each state and Washington DC, one for each of the four categories. That’s 204 people competing in the Finals. 204 people getting $500 each. That’s $102,000 in cash that the pageant organizers would be paying out. Wow. Plus there will be 204 trophies and crowns. They must have quite a bankroll! Even if a thousand people send in the entry fee, even that wouldn’t cover it. Let’s pretend we don’t see that “Donation” button on the website homepage because really, these people must be rollin’ in it. They’ve reserved event rooms at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, after all and that will be one huge hotel bill after the pageant.

So I got to wondering if people could win at the Semi-Finals level and just decide to take the $500 and end it there. Would the pageant organizers pay out the cash and say OK thanks bye? OR…

The Semi-Finals is when the pageant contestants are expected to pay the organizers a minimum of $3200 to as much as $6600. Instead of shelling out over a hundred grand in cash, might the organizers tell the Semi-Finalists that they’ll discount their fees by $500? It would be a little weird to pay $500 to people you expect to turn around and hand you a check for several thousand bucks.

So do the Flab to Fabulous Pageant organizers have a hundred thousand dollars on hand, ready for when they’ll make cash awards to the Semi-Finalists? Or will contestants “qualify” for the cash award by agreeing to pay the pageant a minimum $3200 to continue to the Finals?

I’ve been working on a finance-related project all day and I guess I have money on the brain! So what do you think?