Four Ways the X Factor Winner Could Spend $5 Million

If Simon Cowell is biting off more than he can chew, he is willing to eat $5 million worth. The former American Idol judge, best-known for his blunt but honest criticism, has been busy promoting the widely anticipated American version of the X Factor show, set to debut in September, and has been answering questions about this large sum.

In a conference call between Cowell and reporters, he said, "By putting up that kind of prize money, it's a massive, massive risk, but it's also an incredible incentive." He said that although it's a lot of pressure being put on him, he feels confident he'll find a star. Whoever wins the recording contract gets the money over a period of five years, $1 million a year. Cowell said in the conference call that financial support will be offered so the winner doesn't have to invest or look after the money.

Recording costs, marketing, and video costs will be separate from

the prize money. The specific breakdown was not mentioned, but it's

still probably different from winning the lottery. Anyone 12 years of age or older can try out, and the talent is

going to range greatly, considering bands are eligible and there's no age

cap. Cowell said he likes the idea of a teen competing with a group or

someone like Diana Ross.


So, $1 million yearly for five years is a lot of dough. Here are some spending theories regarding what a winner might do with the influx of cash.

Theory #1: So it turns out the semicreepy guy -- a male Susan Boyle, perhaps -- who always comes to the neighborhood bar, orders a craft beer, and never says a word -- has an amazing singing voice. He wins X Factor based upon his spot-on rendition of Barry Manilow's "Mandy" and now has to figure out what to do with all his winnings. He would...

A. Get a haircut that doesn't make him look like a stalker
B. Pub-crawl and pick up women for the rest of his life
C. Buy his own brewery  
D. All of the above
Theory #2: Little miss 12-year-old prodigy with the voice of an angel has to win everything she does. After winning X Factor, she splurges on an amusement park, exotic pet zoo, and a candy factory. After reaching age 17, she realizes her choices no longer fit her lifestyle. All the while, the money has stopped flowing, and her career has gone under too. 
Theory #3: The 20-something who was picked on in school by people who couldn't even pass a gym class -- think American Idol's Florida talent Brett Loewenstern -- wins X Factor and decides to travel. Being able to tell his bullies to "kiss it" is the greatest prize of all, but it's even better when said bullies are standing in the unemployment line and he's soaking up lots of culture, cuisine, and stamps on his passport.  
Theory #4: A sweet old ladies' singing group turns out to have serious chops. Their divalicious voices win X Factor, and they all decide to live out their bucket lists. Skydiving, mountain-climbing, fire-eating, and cliff-diving are the top picks. These firecrackers ain't kicking the bucket before getting the most out of their time here. Let's just hope they remember to get life insurance.  
The number-one U.K. show, X Factor has a worldwide audience of more than 100 million. Globally, more than 100 million record sales have totaled by artists launched through the show. The U.S. version airs in fall 2011, and auditions will begin March 27 in Los Angeles. A little preview of what is to come can be viewed below.


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