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Survivor Auction

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Survivor Auction
Survivor Auction
Recurring Survivor Challenge
Description: An opportunity for an individual (or a tribe) to bid for food and other creature comforts
Appearances: The Australian Outback
The Amazon
Cook Islands
One World
Worlds Apart

The Survivor Auction is an event that occasionally appears in Survivor.


The Survivor Auction is a special Reward Challenge where the players are temporarily relieved from competing in strenuous challenges. Instead, they will be given a specific sum of money where they must outbid the other contestants for certain items, mostly food, with instances where temporary use of amenities and visit from loved ones are also offered. There are also instances where there are game-changing powers contestants can outbid on, such as power to send another player to Exile Island, an advantage at the next Immunity Challenge, or a clue to the Hidden Immunity Idol. The host would pound a gavel on the auction table, denoting that the item is already sold.

At pre-determined points, the host will offer covered items which will remain covered until there is a winning bidder. In connection to covered items, there are also "trap items," which reveal an undesirable prize, such as exotic food items and boiled water from their camp. Also, the host will sometimes tempt the contestant to trade his/her chosen item for another sealed item, which sometimes reveal a "better" item(s), or a more undesirable one(s).

In recent seasons, players are to outbid on items that would benefit the entire tribe, such as all-tribe food item to be eaten in a certain amount of time, and an extra food supply. This could serve as doing a favor for the tribe, in order to establish a better position in the game, perhaps expecting their tribe to return the favor.


Prior to the auction starting, the host announces the guidelines of the auction. In order for a contestant to bid they must adhere to the following rules:

  • Survivors are given a predetermined amount of money (which may vary from local currency to USD) and can choose to bid as many times as they wish using however much money they have.
  • The host would open the bidding with a flat rate that follows the prescribed increment (if bidding is at $20 increments, the host may open the bidding at $40). This rule has been abandoned in recent seasons.
  • Bids will be in increments at the host's discretion. Survivors can, however, immediately bid a large amount, or all of the money in their possession, in an attempt to instantly win a desired item.
  • "Pooling" (sharing money along with the item up for auction with other players) is permitted, as long as they share the item and/or vice versa. This option has been voided since Survivor: Cook Islands.
  • Food which is bought must be eaten before leaving the auction area.
  • The auction will usually end without notice.
  • Sealed/covered items will remain covered until the item is sold.
  • Jeff Probst reveals that after the auction, the contestants may keep their unspent money. Jeff even claimed that some contestants do not bid at all so they can keep the money.[1]
  • If two or more people who have all their money want to bid all of it on the same item, they will draw rocks to decide who wins. This rule was implemented starting with Survivor: Cagayan.[2]


The auction is well received by fans, primarily with seeing the contestants enjoying food and sharing it with their tribemates or keeping it for themselves. It also provides an insight as to whether or not a castaway will risk what they have bought in order for a concealed item, which is typically exotic local cuisine or an improvement on what has been won. Also, hogging too many items from the auction may receive the ire of his or her tribemates.

Jeff Probst himself acknowledged that the Survivor Auction lost its appeal due to the increasingly cutthroat nature of the game, as contestants no longer competed for food and instead held on to their money until game advantages were up for bid.[3]

Most Common Items

Item Winners Item Winners
Letters from home S6 christy tS6 jenna tS10 caryn tS10 gregg tS10 katie tS10 stephenie tS10 tom tS24 alicia tS24 tarzan tS26 andrea tS26 brenda tS26 cochran tS26 eddie tS26 erik tS26 reynold tS30 carolyn tS30 dan tS30 jenn tS30 mike tS30 rodney tS30 shirin tS30 sierra tS30 tyler t Advantage in the upcoming Immunity Challenge S11 danni tS17 corinne tS19 jaison tS24 troyzan tS25 abimaria tS26 cochran t
Clue to the location of the Hidden Immunity Idol S19 john tS26 malcolm tS28 tony c Power to send someone to Exile Island and to take all of said person's auction money S13 becky tS16 natalie tS17 ken t




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