America’s Richest Rednecks
Nowadays, there are plenty of ways for someone to make a few bucks. For the people that our media culture have dubbed “rednecks,” their traditional occupation was farming or outdoor labor. The word redneck came from the red, sunburned necks of farmers and agricultural workers, and was typically used by upper-class people to remind their social inferiors that they didn’t need to work in the field, and instead had the luxury of choosing intellectual occupations.
Now, many people who live in the American South have proudly reclaimed the word redneck, and use it to describe themselves in a loving and teasing way. Now, there are tons of TV shows that invite us into the lives of the proud rednecks of the America. And, tons of them have made a whole lot of money cashing those fat network cheques. Check out some of them below!
Honey Boo Boo and the Thompson Family
America was first introduced to Alana ‘Honey Boo Boo’ Thompson and her kooky family through the show Toddlers and Tiaras on TLC. When we first met her, she was a contestant in a children’s beauty pageant, and in order to win, her mother plied her with “go-go juice,” a concoction of Mountain Dew and Red Bull energy drink. Unfortunately, she didn’t win, but her family’s antics in that episode prompted TLC to offer them a show of their own.
Here Comes Honey Boo Boo ran for four seasons, and the family was paid over $50,000 per episode. Alana’s mother, June, claims that the family continues to live simply, clipping coupons and pinching pennies, in order to save the reality TV money in trust funds for each of Alana’s siblings until they reach the age of majority.
The West Texas Investors Club
The West Texas Investors Club is a TV show featuring Michael “Rooster” McConaughey and Wayne “Butch” Gilliam, two self-made millionaires from deep in the heart of Texas who listen to Shark Tank-style pitches from wannabe entrepreneurs while drinking beer around a kitchen table. Both of them made millions in the oil and gas industry and want to inspire others by investing in their inventions.
However, they only invest in ideas that they believe in, and aren’t afraid to put an entrepreneur to the test. On the first season of the show, Rooster and Butch invested $1.97 million between the two of them on different start-up ideas that they tested on real people. Although the show’s only had one season so far, another season is already in the works.
The Robertsons of Duck Dynasty
The Robertson Family were wealthy long before they were featured on television. Sales from their top-selling duck call allowed them to keep living their modest lifestyle while tucking away millions of dollars into their savings accounts. While it was patriarch Phil Robertson who founded the company, son Willie and his wife Korie are rumored to make a combined total of $25 million per year after taking over as heads of the company. Each family member including uncle Si, and younger brothers Jep and Jase also make millions of dollars per year working for the family business.
After their hit show Duck Dynasty took off, the appearance fees for the family went up 400%. Now, they split $200,000 per episode. Even though they’re worth tens of millions, the family hasn’t changed the redneck ways that make them so appealing to fans.