An Academy Award is the most prestigious accolade someone in the film industry can earn. It commands respect and esteem. But the statuette itself is only worth $1.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hosts and coordinates the awards each season, has strict rules regarding the statuettes. The official regulations state that winners cannot sell their Oscar without first offering to sell it back to the Academy for $1, which makes each one worth a mere $1.
This also applies to family members who inherit Oscars from relatives who have died.
Until a few years ago, the Academy asked for $10 per statue if a previous winner or their heirs wished to let go of an Oscar. But that changed in 2015, when the statue won by Joseph Wright for "My Gal Sal" in 1942 ended up in the hands of Nate D. Sanders, who bought it from Briarbrook Auctions for $79,200. Wright's nephew, Joseph Tutalo, had consigned the Oscar to Briarbrook in 2014.
The Academy sued Briarbrook to enforce its $10 rule, which had been added in 1951.