The champion in 2016 at Oakmont will deposit the same amount.
But winning the U.S. Open wasn’t always a guaranteed payday worth millions.
When Jack Nicklaus won the U.S. Open in 1980 for example, his winning share was worth $55,000. The median U.S. household income at the time was $17,000. So while Nicklaus took home in 4 days what the average family made in about 3 years, this weekend’s winner will take home what the average U.S family will make in about 40 years.
Here’s look at the milestones.
1895 – The 3-Figure Payday
In the very first U.S Open tournament, back in 1895, the winner, England’s Horace Rawlins, received a check for $150. The household income was $300.
1931 – Winning Prize Hits 4-Figures
It took 36 more years for the prize money to hit four-digits when Billy Burke took home $1,750 for his win.The median household income was $1,970.
1959 – Winning Prize Hits 5-Figures
Billy Casper won $12,000 for capturing the 1959 Open. It was the first year a winner received a prize worth 5-figures. The average American family reportedly made $3,856.
1985 – Winning Prize Hits 6-Figures
It took another 26 years for the winner’s share to enter in to six-figure category. In 1985, Andy North took home $103,000 for his U.S. Open title. The American family income was $22,259.
2002 – The First Million Dollar Payday
In the year 2002, Tiger Woods won $1 million to mark the first time a winner took home a seven-figure payday. In 2002, incomes for Americans averaged $41,911.
- U.S. Open Prize Money
- U.S. Household Income