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Ranking the Highest-Earning Queens in 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Herstory
Certain queens have made plenty of coin from 'RuPaul’s Drag Race,' henny!
Over the years, the cash tips on Drag Race and All Stars have increased significantly. This has benefitted queens who often spend thousands of dollars to get their looks together in preparation for the show.
At this point in Drag Race herstory, winning a maxi challenge during a regular season comes with a reward of $5,000. There are also certain mini-challenges that are worth $2,500. On All Stars, winning a maxi challenge and its subsequent lip sync for your legacy equals a tip of $10,000. Since the introduction of the lip sync assassin format, these cash tips can also roll over from week to week, meaning that certain contestants can make $20,000 or even $30,000 from winning a single lip sync for your legacy.
For both regular seasons and All Stars, the grand prize of RuPaul's Drag Race has been $100,000 since season four. However, that grand prize was increased to $150,000 in season 14 and a cash prize of $50,000 was introduced to the runner-up of the season.
With All Stars 7being an "all-winners" season, the season's grand prize was raised to $200,000 for the Queen of All Queens. Then, another title and cash prize was introduced for the Queen of She Done Already Done Had Herses.
Now that the all-winners season has come to an end, it's time to look back at the queens who have made the most money from competing on RuPaul's Drag Race.
10. Kylie Sonique Love – $111,000
Over the course of All Stars 6, Kylie Sonique Love made $10,000 from a maxi challenge and lip sync win, as well as $1,000 from the "All Star Class Superlatives" mini challenge. She then went on to win the season, which added $100,000 to her earnings. Overall, Love came out of All Stars 6 with $111,000 in her pocket.
9. Monét X Change – $115,000
Monet X Change won the title of Miss Congeniality on Drag Race season 10, but here's a fun fact: she is the only Miss Congeniality winner since season seven to not receive a cash prize with that title.
Nonetheless, she did quite well for herself on All Stars 4. Besides winning the grand prize of $100,000, X Change also made $5,000 from a lip sync tie with Manila Luzon in episode five. The self-proclaimed "Sponge Queen" then came back for All Stars 7 and finished as runner-up. Overall, she earned $10,000 from one lip sync win during the all-winners season. In total, X Change made $115,000 from Drag Race.
8. Symone – $120,000
The always fashionable Symone steamrolled the competition on Drag Race season 13. In total, she won four maxi challenges and was awarded a total of $20,000 in cash tips.
To the surprise of literally no one, Symone then won season 13's lip syncs for the crown, became America's Next Drag Superstar, and earned herself the grand prize of $100,000. Thus, Symone is tied in fourth-fifth place for cashing in $120,000 from RuPaul's Drag Race.
7. Jaida Essence Hall – $127,000
Drag Race season 12 was plagued by the start of the ongoing global pandemic and the controversies surrounding a disqualified contestant. However, Jaida Essence Hall still made some pretty coin out of her time on the show. Throughout her original season, Hall made $15,000 from three maxi challenge wins ($5,000 each). Then, at the finale, she won the $100,000 grand prize and received a cash tip worth $2,000 from Pantene.
A few years later, Hall competed on Drag Race All Stars 7 and earned $10,000 from winning a lip sync. Adding it all up, Hall made $127,000 on the show.
5-6. Alaska – $130,000
Alaska also didn't make any money in season five but cashed in as much as $130,000 on All Stars 2. Considering that All Stars 2 aired as far back as 2016 - and most of these top earners come from recent seasons - Alaska was the highest-earning Drag Race queen for many years. Her total earnings combine the $100,000 grand prize plus $30,000 from three maxi challenge and lip sync wins.
Some fans will remember that Alaska won four maxi challenges on All Stars 2, but her third win took place in the episode where the eliminated queens fought for a chance to come back to the competition. As such, Alaska's partner Alyssa Edwards was the one who got to lip sync for her legacy that day.
5-6. Trinity The Tuck – $130,000
Trinity The Tuck made $120,000 from the show while competing on All Stars 4. Her earnings came from two maxi challenge and lip sync wins (worth $10,000 each) plus the grand prize of $100,000.
More recently, Trinity came out as trans and nonbinary and competed in the first-ever all-winners season. Throughout All Stars 7, she earned $10,000 from one lip sync win. Totaling it all up, the All Stars 4 "twinner" has cashed in $130,000 on RuPaul's Drag Race.
4. Raja – $135,000
Raja won a grand prize of $75,000 back in season three - she was the last Drag Race winner to not win the long-standing $100,000 prize that most winners have gone on to earn along with their crowns. Over a decade later, the OG fashion queen came back to compete on the all-winners All Stars 7 season, where she made $10,000 from one lip sync win.
In the end, Raja also won the Queen of She Done Already Done Had Herses lip sync smackdown. Along with that title, Raja also earned a cash prize of $50,000. After crunching all the numbers, Raja has made $135,000 from competing on RuPaul's Drag Race twice.
3. Shea Couleé – $150,000
After not winning any money on Drag Race season nine, Shea Coulee came out swinging for All Stars 5 and obliterated her competitors. Aside from winning the $100,000 that came with her All Stars crown, Coulee also earned $30,000 from two maxi challenge and lip sync wins, totaling $130,000 altogether.
On All Stars 7, Coulee once again repeated her track record of winning every lip sync she competed in. Throughout the all-winners season, Coulee won two maxi challenges and won both of the lip syncs that followed those victories. As a result, she earned $20,000 from two lip sync wins on All Stars 7. In total, Coulee made $150,000 from her appearances on Drag Race.
2. Willow Pill – $159,500
The newest addition to the winners' circle, Willow Pill, is one of the highest-earning queens in the herstory of the series. Producers announced that the grand prize had been increased to $150,000 a week before the grand finale of Drag Race season 14, which meant that any of the top five finalists would've placed high in this ranking had they won the show.
Besides making $150,000 for winning Drag Race, Pill also earned a few cash tips over the course of the season. Namely, Pill made $5,000 from a maxi challenge win, $2,500 from a mini challenge win, and $2,000 from the grand finale tip sponsored by Olay, which adds up to $159,500.
1. Jinkx Monsoon – $332,500
Jinkx Monsoon made $100,000 for winning season five of RuPaul's Drag Race. She then also won All Stars 7 and was crowned the Queen of All Queens, taking home the record-breaking grand prize of $200,000.
Over the course of All Stars 7, Monsoon also made quite a bit of money. For instance, she earned a cash tip of $2,500 for winning the reading challenge. She also won three lip syncs worth $10,000 each - accumulating $30,000 in total. At the end of her run on All Stars 7, Monsoon has cashed in a whopping $332,500 from Drag Race.
To put it into perspective, Monsoon has earned more than twice of what this ranking's runner-up, Pill, has made on the show.