This is how much money Adam Richman is really worth

From 2008 to 2012, Adam Richman crisscrossed the United States taking on one food challenge after another with the popular Travel Channel show Man v. Food. Sometimes they were hot enough to have him sweating bullets after a single bite, while other times the food challenges consisted of mammoth proportions that could seemingly topple a giant. One thing they all had in common was that if Richman completed them, a cash prize didn't await him. If anything, he walked away with simply a comped meal and free t-shirt to commemorate the food fight.

Those eating competitions were, however, what put Richman on the map, making him somewhat of a household name and pretty wealthy guy in the process. So just how much has Richman acquired from chowing down on giant hoagies? Let's start at the beginning. 

Adam Richman started with just $10

Adam Richman may have a net worth in the millions today, but he really didn't start earning big money until he was in his mid-30s (via The Observer). Richman grew up in a middle-class Jewish family in south Brooklyn – his father was an attorney and his mother a guidance counselor (via The Observer). Richman's path to success has been a long one that has taken him from the kitchen to the stage, and then, oddly enough, back to the kitchen. 

The TV host's earliest earnings — if you can call it that — was simply a 10 dollar gift from his great aunt to open a bank account, but decades down the road, Richman was reportedly pulling in $35,000 per episode with Man v. Food (via Celebrity Net Worth). Of course, there were quite a few other jobs with much smaller paychecks in between.    

Adam Richman entered show business on a $5 bet

While going to college at Emory University in Atlanta, Richman took a $5 bet from a fraternity brother that he wouldn't try out for the school's theater program. Richman won the five bucks, and by the time he graduated, he was acting in small plays around the country. On the nights that he wasn't performing on stage in small community theaters, Richman was working in kitchens doing everything from busing tables to washing dishes — or filling in as a short order cook. Considering that the average busboy salary by 2019 standards is just $23,000 a year, according to Glassdoor, Richman was a long way off at the time from making the big bucks. 

Richman did eventually land himself a TV agent and even started occasionally getting small parts in TV shows like Joan of Arcadia and Law & Order. Even then, the struggling actor was also earning just $125 a week working as a production assistant at the MSG network. It wasn't until he nailed his 2008 audition for the Travel Channel's new show about regional food challenges that everything changed for Richman seemingly overnight.  

Adam Richman goes from struggling actor to millionaire

Today, Adam Richman has an estimated net worth of $10 million dollars. That's pretty incredible when just a little over a decade ago he wasn't even earning a $150 per shift as a production assistant. While his Man v. Food paycheck obviously can be credited with contributing to a big portion of those earnings, it's not everything. He also picked up some cushy endorsement deals and has had a number of other TV shows that provided some green for his bank account. 

Richman retired from Man v. Food in 2012, writing on Facebook that after 59 food challenges he was ready for a rest from overeating on television. In the middle of Man v. Food's run, Richman picked up an endorsement gig for the heartburn medication Zantac. If there was ever a more fitting connection, we can't think of it. "Everyone thinks I'm just shilling Zantac, but it's really what I use — I used to use it even before they paid me for it, Richman told Today. While it's not known how much the TV host picked up for his Zantac endorsement, considering that it's made by billion-dollar pharmaceutical company Sanofi, it's fair to say he was probably paid well (via Zantac OTC). 

Richman may not have a line of cooking products on the market like Emeril Lagasse or own a restaurant, but he's been successful at capitalizing on his Man v. Food fame. He's released two books, America The Edible in 2011 and the cookbook Straight Up Tasty: Meals, Memories, and Mouthfuls from My Travels in 2015. It is worth noting that celebrities' net worths are often vastly overestimated. For example, the late Anthony Bourdain's net worth of $1.2 million was far under previous estimates of $16 million (via Insider). Still, for a middle-class kid from Brooklyn, Richman has done very well for himself.