Gaming was once a solitary endeavor, but online gaming has unlocked a world of earning potential from gaming. Skilled gamers with engaging personalities can earn money from streaming, or broadcasting themselves playing games while interacting with fans or giving tips on how to master the game. One of the top streamers, who goes by the name Ninja, reportedly makes around $6 million per year thanks to his paying subscribers, ads on his YouTube channel, and sponsorships.
The best gamers in the world can also make millions by winning major competitions in their game of choice. The highest paying championship is The International — the championship for Dota 2. The prize for winning The International in 2019 was over $15.6 million for a team of five. Each of the top six teams took home over $1 million in prize money.
2. Building sandcastles
Though most sandcastles are built by children and do not reach very high, a few adults have been able to make money creating huge, ornate sculptures and structures for corporate clients or as part of competitions.
Making sand sculptures is no day at the beach, though. Sand artists must work full days in the sun over the course of several weeks, hauling and packing sand. One sculptor told the Bureau of Labor Statistics he could earn around $500 per day sculpting part time, while others have been able to make a full-time living sculpting.
3. Home brewing beer
With the growing popularity of craft beer, some amateur brewers have been able to make money off their home brews. With over 1 million amateur craft brewers in the United States, dozens of craft brewing contests have popped up all across the country. Many of these festivals offer cash prizes to the best beer of the day.
Winning one of these contests can lead to an even more lucrative outcome. Startup Noble Brewer is a business that licenses home brewers’ recipe and distributes them across the nation, taking care of all of the difficult legal issues associated with selling alcohol.
Cosplaying — dressing up in a costume from a favorite show, movie, comic book, video game, or other media — has gone from being a nerdy hobby to big business. As events such as Comic-Con have grown over the past decades, some creative costumers have been able to garner enough fans to make a living cosplaying.
Some cosplayers earn money by dressing up and promoting a booth at a convention or other gathering. Other cosplayers make money from modeling, appearance fees, and selling their own merchandise. These cosplayers build up massive followings online by posting their work on social media. The most famous cosplayers can make an estimated six-figure income, though even less known cosplayers can still pull in up to $300 for a day’s work.
Trivia contests at bars can be a fun way to spend an evening and maybe even come away with a small prize, but if you can win enough bar trivia games, you can actually make a good living. British trivia player Christian Drummond claimed he made the equivalent of about $90,000 in one year simply by playing bar trivia machines. Drummond said he visited over 10,000 different pubs playing different quiz machines. Other trivia masters have even been recruited to write trivia questions as a full-time job after demonstrating their immense knowledge.
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