A winner was crowned Sunday evening on “Survivor: Caramoan -- Fans vs. Favorites” and according to host Jeff Probst, the champion was “one of the biggest fish-out-of-water stories” in the show’s history.
So who won? [SPOILER ALERT: Do not read on if you haven't seen Sunday’s season finale.]
John Cochran, that's who; The 25-year-old Harvard law student and two-time contestant was named the winner of the 26th season of the CBS reality competition show, beating out Dawn Meehan and Sherri Biethman in the season finale to win the $1 million prize.
Cochran won four immunity challenges to earn a spot in the final three in the “Fans vs. Favorites” finale before the final tribunal elected him the winner in a unanimous vote.
After being named the winner of the challenge, Cochran hugged his family and the tears began to fall. "Obviously, it feels incredible," he said. "I've loved this game for half of my life. It's a dream come true."
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He knew his strategy would inevitably help him in the long run.
"The first time I went it into it ... everyone perceived me as a nerd, a socially awkward freak," he said. "I got to focus on the game this time instead of how I'm perceived. ... I'm kind of speechless. Accepting my eccentricities as just part of me instead of an embarrassment ... I'm proud of who I am!"
Cochran told the Hollywood Reporter in an interview after the “Survivor: Caramoan” season finale aired that he plans to be just as smart with his prize money as he was on the show. Cochran said that he plans to buy “a lot of boring stuff” and make a “little impulse purchase.” After investing some of his winnings and buying an apartment that he will “soup out” with tons of high tech “gizmos” -- what he really wants is a Segway.
“I kind of want to get a Segway, as lame as that it. I don't know how often I'd use it, but I'd like to just ride around on one," he said. "Even if it's just doing circles in my living room.”
The law student said that after graduation he might become a professional writer, maybe of screenplays or comedies. But for now, he's enjoying his victory.
“Not to toot my own horn, but I won unanimously, and nobody cast a single vote against me the entire game, which is only the second time in Survivor history that's happened,” he said. “On the one hand, you could [sic] I'm say not a threat; nobody bothered voting for me because I'm such a loser, but I'm kind of a winner now, so maybe they should have voted against me.”