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Texas man wins 'Survivor,' plans to donate prize money to veterans in father's name

"There are people who need that money more," the new Sole Survivor said during the show.
Credit: Instagram
Mike Gabler was crowned Sole Survivor in Season 43.

HOUSTON, Texas — Season 43 of Survivor has crowned a champion, and he is making show history in more ways than one.

Not only is Mike Gabler, of Kingswood, Texas, the second oldest winner in its show history, he has also announced that he plans to donate his entire $1 million in winnings to veterans. 

Gabler, a 52-year-old heart valve specialist, mentioned his intentions with the prize money on the show before, but now that was crowned Sole Survivor, he has the chance to follow through with it.

"There are people who need that money more," said Gabler during the Survivor after show.  "And I'm going to donate the entire prize — the entire million dollar prize, in my father's name, Robert Gabler, who was a Green Beret — to veterans in need who are recovering from psychiatric problems, PTSD, and curb the suicide epidemic." 

Gabler told host Jeff Probst that despite his generous act, he does not come from a wealthy background, but was "fortunate enough to come from a military family".

"No I've worked very hard, I've been fortunate," said Gabler. "But you know, I realized being through this experience, I am rich at home. I have an amazing life at home. I have an amazing family. I have amazing friends. I need to be a better husband, I need to be a better father, I need to be a better brother, I need to be a better son. I'm going to do all those things just like all of us are going to do that when we go home."

"We're going to save lives and do something good," continued Gabler, "Season 43, all of us did this. A million dollars is going to them. We made history guys."

Gabler is the first winner in show history to announce his intention to donate the entire prize money to a cause.

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