MISSED OUT: 2016 pageant winner Ntandoyenkosi Kunene.

The price of beauty has just risen for Miss South Africa hopefuls.

For the first time in the beauty pageant's history, the winner will become an instant millionaire - receiving R1 million in cold hard cash.

The money is being sponsored by pageant owner Sun International and Cell C, elevating the competition to “one of the richest pageants in the world”.

The winner - to be crowned at Sun City at the end of March 2017 - will receive the cash, a car, an international holiday and other prizes in a package that exceeds R2million.

The finalists for 2017 will each receive a R25 000 cash prize.

Pity for current Miss SA, Ntandoyenkosi Kunene, who probably wishes she’d held out for another year.

Auditions for the pageant are still open, so get going, you might be a millionaire in nine months’ time.