‘The Amazing Race’: Contestants Are Allowed to Beg Strangers for Money if They Run Out on the Show

After two decades of being on the air, The Amazing Race remains one of the most awe-inspiring reality shows on TV. Competitors team up and race around the world to get to checkpoints in different countries, and they have to complete a variety of tasks along the way. While the competition in itself is fierce, the competitors also have to consider when they’ll eat, sleep, and take care of themselves while they’re against the clock.

It seems if the contestants run out of money along the way, they’re allowed to venture into unconventional routes to get a few extra dollars, too. Here’s what happens.

Contestants on ‘The Amazing Race’ are given a set amount of money for the duration of the show

'The Amazing Race' season 21
‘The Amazing Race’ season 21 | Grey Gayne/CBS via Getty Images

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The Amazing Race looks like an incredible adventure of a lifetime, but it’s certainly not easy. Before the competitors head out for the show, they have to figure out what to pack — and everything they bring will be with them for the duration of filming. Packing aside, there’s another aspect of travel they must think about that. And that’s money.

According to E! News, all teams are given a set amount of money from the show. This money can cover any travel expenses they’ll come across aside from the flights (those are paid for via a separate credit card), and it includes lodgings and food. Unfortunately, other costs may come up along the way — and it’s up to the competitors to fund any repairs or setbacks they didn’t expect. Any money they didn’t use from the previous leg of the race rolls over to the following as well.

The publication also notes that while it looks like the travelers only have to purchase tickets for their team, they also have to secure tickets for the two-person crew that follows them around everywhere.

Competitors are allowed to beg for money

'The Amazing Race' season 29 winners
‘The Amazing Race’ season 29 winners | Michele Crowe/CBS via Getty Images

It’s likely production gives them enough money to cover general travel and food, but what if something catastrophic happens? And what occurs when travelers run out of money? E! News notes a rumor persists that a small emergency fund exists, but that’s unconfirmed. Otherwise, teams are allowed to get more creative in the ways they make money.

If teams are fresh out of cash, it seems they’re allowed to ask locals for extra money, or they can ask other teams for help. Yahoo Money notes the teams are allowed to get as creative as they want when they’re in a pinch (as long as it’s legal). Also, the teams are briefed on the country’s culture so they don’t make any faux pas there, too.

So, what happens if the teams are out of money and can’t scrounge up anything else? “The teams are responsible for purchasing tickets for their crew and if they don’t have enough tickets for themselves, and their crew, then they can’t go,” Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan said on his Reddit AMA.

A competitor had her own strategy for getting free meals

'The Amazing Race'
‘The Amazing Race’ | Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images

The key to being successful on The Amazing Race is thinking fast and planning ahead. Some teams bring protein bars along with them to save a buck. And past contestant Hayley Keel told She Just Glows that she and her partner had their own sneaky way of saving money. Keel would ask the flight attendants for extra meals she could take with her on the road.

Unfortunately for Keel, this meant she spent the duration of her adventure eating airline food — and a lot of it wasn’t good. “We really are eating random junk the whole time,” she said. “There were times we’d be eating an airplane meal, and I just wished I could have some fruit.”

In the end, it seems Keel’s strategy was a good one, though — and we’re betting many contestants in the future will use it as well.

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