Survivor Wiki
Survivor Wiki

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 a temporary use of amenities or a visit from loved ones are also offered. There are also instances where there are game-changing powers that contestants can outbid on, such as the power to send another player to Exile Island, an advantage at the next Immunity Challenge, or a clue to a Hidden Immunity Idol. The host would pound a gavel on the auction table, denoting that the item has already been sold.

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

In later seasons, players are to outbid on items that would benefit the entire tribe, such as all-tribe food items to be eaten in a certain amount of time, or 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:

  • Castaways 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. Castaways 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 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.
  • Host Jeff Probst has revealed that after the auction, the contestants may keep their unspent money. Jeff even claimed that some contestants intentionally do not bid because they would rather have the money.[1] Notably Tarzan Smith in One World considered implementing this tactic to replace the shocks on his car before changing his mind and purchasing his loved one's letter from home.
  • 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 in Cagayan.[2]
  • The person with the most money left at the end of the auction will lose their vote at the next Tribal Council. This rule was implemented starting in Survivor 45.


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 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 successfully bid upon. Also, castaways who hog too many items during the auction may receive the ire of their tribemates.

Host Jeff Probst has 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. This was apparent in the more recent instances of the Survivor Auction, Cagayan and Worlds Apart.[3] However, Jeff expressed an interest in reviving the auction after its long absence, provided that production could find a way to discourage the castaways from hogging their money in anticipation of advantages.[4] This was realized upon the auction's return in Survivor 45, where advantages were taken off the table and castaways were incentivized to spend their money to avoid being deprived of their vote at the next Tribal Council.


The Australian Outback
"Let's Make a Deal"
"We Are Family"
"The Ocean's Surprise"
The Amazon
"Q and A"
"I'll Show You How Threatening I Am"
"Price for Immunity"
Cook Islands
"You're a Rat..."
"I'm Ruthless... and Have a Smile on My Face"
"Nothing Tastes Better than Five Hundred Dollars"
"The Ultimate Sacrifice"
"Off with Their Heads!"
One World
"I'm No Dummy"
"Hell Hath Frozen Over"
"Come Over to the Dark Side"
"Chaos Is My Friend"
Worlds Apart
"Bring the Popcorn"
Survivor 45
"Following a Dead Horse to Water"

Recurring Items[]

Item Winners
Letters from home S6 christy tS6 jenna tS10 caryn t
S10 gregg tS10 katie tS10 stephenie tS10 tom t
S24 alicia tS24 tarzan tS26 andrea tS26 brenda t
S26 cochran tS26 eddie tS26 erik tS26 reynold t
S30 carolyn tS30 dan tS30 jenn tS30 mike t
S30 rodney tS30 shirin tS30 sierra tS30 tyler t
Advantage in the upcoming Immunity Challenge S11 danni tS17 corinne tS19 jaison t
S24 troyzan tS25 abimaria tS26 cochran t
Clue to the location of a Hidden Immunity Idol S19 john tS26 malcolm tS28 tony t
Power to send someone to Exile Island
and to take all of said person's auction money
S13 becky tS16 natalie tS17 ken t




Recurring Challenges
A Bit Dinghy · A Bit Tipsy · A Crate Idea · A Leg Up · A Numbers Game · Air Raid · Angry Chair · Around the Bend · Back in Slack · Balancing Point · Ballin' A Jack · Barrel Bridge · Barrel of Monkeys · Basket Brawl · Better Homes and Island Living · Beyond the Wheel · Blind Leading the Blind · Blue Lagoon Bustle · Blue Plate Special · Boats, Brains & Brawn · Bone to Pick · Boulder Smash · Bow Diddley · Box Your Mind · Braille Maze · Broken China · Buggin' Out · Build It Up, Break It Down · Butch Cassidy · By Any Means Necessary · By the Numbers · Cage Against the Machine · Can't Buoy Me Love · Cannonball Run · Caught in the Web · Cell Block Sea · Challenge Pitch · Chief's Choice · Chimney Sweep · Chinese Zodiac Symbols · Choose Your Weapon · Coconut Juice · Crate Escape · Crocodile Rock · Crosswalk · Cube Crisis · Dear Liza · Dive Masters · Dizzy Gillespie · Dizzy Miss Lizzy · Domino Effect · Draggin' the Dragon · Dragging the River · Drop A Log · Drum Roll · Dulcimer Stomp · End of the Line · EOC · Eve 6 · Fallen Comrades · Fast Fire · Faulty Towers · Fauxconut Bowling · Fire and Water · Fire Fighter · Fire Starter · Flips, Flops, & Flags · Float Your Boat · Floating Puzzle · Game of Bridge · Gatecrasher · Get a Grip · Get Barreled · Get Hooked · Get Your Goat · Gimme Three Steps · Great Escape Run · Hands on a Hard Idol · Hear About It Ladder · Hot Pursuit · House of Cards · House of the Holey · Idol Hands · Jail Break · Jump Shot · Jungle Relay · Kamikaze · Keel Hauling · Keep It Up · Keep on Your Toes · Kenny Log-Ins · Kicking and Screaming · Kitty Litter · Know Your Loved One · Ladder Tree Golf · Last Gasp · Letter Hunt · Lock, Load and Light · Lock Step · Log Jam · Losing Face · Mask Match · Matchmaker · Matt Finish · Mayan Pizza · Memory · Mud Pack · Mud Slide · Muddy Waters · New School · New Tribe Member · Nut Bucket · O-Black Water · Odd Shaped Bottoms · Operation Balance Build · Out on a Limb · Over-Extended · Paddle Battle · Paddle Out · Perch · Pilfering Pirates · Piranha Feast · Pole Dancing · Pot Head · Push Me, Pull You · Puzzle Dig · Q and A · Quest for Fire · Race to Shore · Ram-Ball On · Rescue Mission · Rice Race · Rise and Shrine · Rock Bottom · Rock n' Roll · Rock the Boat · Rod Screw-It · Roll With It · Roller Ball · Rung O Star · Running Down a Dream · Sacrificial Lamb · Schmergen Brawl · Sea Crates · Sea Legs · Sea Salvage · Shipwrecked · Shoot 'n' Shuffle · Shooting Gallery · Shoulder the Load · Simmotion · Slip, Slide & Score · Slither Me Timbers · Smash and Grab · Snag, Drag and Bag · Snake in the Grass · Snake Island Relay · SOS Signal · Spear-it Hunt · Spit It Out · Splash Back · Sprung a Leak · Squared Off · Squatty Probst · Stacked Up · Stairway to Heaven · Stairway to the Stars · Star Man · Station By Station · Step on Up · Stomp-ede · Strung Out · Sumo at Sea · Super Ramp · Survivor Auction · Survivor History · Survivor Pentathlon · Survivor Quiz Show · Swahili Scramble · Swing Break · Tangled Up · Temple Transfer · The Ball Drop · The Cruel Sea · The Game is Afoot · The Gauntlet · The Home Stretch · The Maze · The Obstacle Course · This Much · Thrash, Splash & Bash · TLP O-Course · Tomb Raider · Total Recall · Troubled Water · Uncomfortably Numb · United We Stand · Vampire Bats · Vertically Challenged · Vertigo · Wall to Wall · Well Stacked · What-er Drag · When It Rains, It Pours · Wicker Flicker · Will It Go Round · Witch Hunt · Wrist Assured · Yank Your Hank · You Shook Me