Published December 17, 2003
NEW YORK – You've just won a boatload of money on a TV reality show - so how are you going to spend your booty (after ponying up to Uncle Sam, of course)?
Us Weekly caught up with several winners of different reality shows - from "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" (search) to "Joe Millionaire (search)" to "Big Brother 3" (search) and more - and found out how these winners spent their loot.
* Nancy Christy, who snared $1 million on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," invested most of her money - but splurged on an Audi TT Roadster convertible and a New York City shopping spree for her daughter.
* "Joe Schmo" (search) winner Matt Kennedy Gould, who walked away with $100,000 from the Spike TV reality-show-within-a-reality-show, set up a "diversified financial portfolio" and bought a digital camera, camcorder and iPod.
* Erin Brodie and Chad Viggiano, who split $2 million on "For Love or Money 2," say they haven't seen any dough yet - but are househunting in L.A.
* Lisa Donahue, who won $500,000 on "Big Brother 3," was very altruistic - she donated most of her winnings to charity (including Animal Avengers), but had enough left to buy a "top-of-the-line" SUV.
* "Amazing Race 4" (search) couple Reichen Lehmkuhl and Chip Arndt copped the $1 million prize. Lehmkuhl bought a Larson cabin cruiser and a Mercedes sedan, while Arndt splurged on custom-made golf clubs. Sadly, money seems to have driven the men apart - they're no longer a couple "but are still friends," according to Us Weekly.
* Brian Heidik, the ex-porn star who won $1 million on "Survivor: Thailand," says he bought a Dodge Viper and diamond earrings for his wife - but stashed most of his big-bucks winnings in bonds, mutual funds and his 3-year-old son's college fund.
* "Paradise Hotel (search)" champs Charla Philstrom and Keith Cuda went about spending their dough a little differently. Philstrom wants to buy a house, while Cuda split his $250,000 kitty with girlfriend Tara Gerard.