Then and now: Here is what some of our favorite 'Survivor' winners are up to
The winners of 'Survivor' won $1 million each, but some of them went on to lead interesting lives, even ending on the wrong side of the law
'Survivor,' a show that ushered in the reality TV fad that has swept America featured some of the most fascinating, strategic survivalists on the show since it began, and we're curious to know what some of the most prolific winners across the show's 35 seasons are up to these days.
1. Richard Hatch
Richard Hatch, the first person to win 'Survivor' in its debut season, made few friends during his run on the show, but it got him the grand prize of $1 million. However, despite his win, he failed to pay taxes on his grand prize, leading him to be convicted of tax evasion. The reality star spent 51 months in prison, and then another nine months after he was caught violating his probation. He divorced his husband of 12 years, Emiliano Cabral, in 2017.
2. Sandra Diaz-Twine
Sandra Diz-Twine made history by becoming the first contestant to win both seasons of 'Survivor' that she featured in - 'Pearl Islands' and 'Heroes vs. Villains.' Her $2 million prize clearly set her up for a cushy life, and so she decided to retire, focusing on her husband and two children. She told People magazine, "I don't do a damn thing."
She maintains the record of being the woman with the most winnings ever from an American television contest.
3. Jenna Morasca
Jenna Morasca won 'Survivor's' 2003 season that was set in the Amazon, and even competed in 'Survivor: All Stars' the next year. She posed for Playboy in 2003 before turning to professional wrestling in 2009. Morasca even hosted the web talk show 'Survivor Live,' taking over from Hatch. She was in a long-term relationship with 'Survivor: Africa' winner Ethan Zohn until 2013. In 2018, she was arrested for drunk driving and bit one of the officers.
4. Ethan Zohn
Ethan Zohn had a fairly tumultous life after his 'Survivor' win. The former soccer player was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2009, while he was dating Morasca. After undergoing stem cell transplants, the reality star was free of cancer in 2013, the same year he split with Morasca. He got engagedd to Lisa Heywood, an interior designer, in 2015, and they married a year later.
5. Tina Wesson
Tina Wesson, the winner of the second installment of the 'Survivor' series, stayed out of the spotlight after her victory. She went on to appear in two more seasons, and now occasionally takes classes on outdoor survival. In 2013, she lost her son to a drunk driving accident. She forgave the driver in court, saying, "I have forgiveness for you... You have my grace today... and I just hope you will take that grace and make better choices in your future."
6. Parvati Shallow
Voted one of the greatest 'Survivor' contestants of all times, Parvati Shallow appeared in three seasons of the show, winning one and coming second in another. She became a popular yoga teacher and travels around the country talking about healing and addiction. She got engaged to John Fincher, another 'Survivor' contestant, in 2017. The two have expressed a desire to go on 'The Amazing Race' together.
7. Yul Kwon
Yul Kwon was a strategic player who won over his fellow contestants on the show as well as the audience. He became a correspondent for CNN in 2007, exploring issues in the Asian American community, and in 2009, he became Deputy Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Since 2013, he has been Director of Product Management at Facebook.
8. Amber Brkich and Rob Mariano
Amber Brkich appeared on 'Survivor' twice, winning the second time she appeared on the show. Her castmate, Rob 'Boston Rob' Mariano, who won his final appearance out of four appearances on the show, proposed to her before her big win. They got married and went on to participate in two seasons of 'The Amazing Race.' They had their own reality show, 'Rob and Amber: Against All Odds.' The couple moved to Las Vegas where they live with their four daughters.