Diaz-Twine wins $1 million, SUV as last 'Survivor'

Monday, December 15, 2003

NEW YORK -- In a "Survivor" contest packed with villains and indelible characters, Sandra Diaz-Twine, a mother of two from the Northwest, had the staying power to win the television game.

Diaz-Twine beat Lillian Morris, the tearful Scoutmaster from the Cincinnati area, in the final vote revealed during CBS' three-hour finale of "Survivor: Pearl Islands" on Sunday.

An office worker for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Diaz-Twine wins $1 million and a new sport utility vehicle.

The CBS game has proven the most popular reality show on TV and this fall's edition did particularly well. With more than 22 million viewers the week before last, it was the week's most-watched prime-time program, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The colorful pirate Rupert and Jon Dalton, who proved to be the show's most notorious villain since Richard Hatch won the game's first edition, helped make this fall's game -- set on a remote island off Panama -- particularly popular.

Dalton -- who had earlier lied and said his grandmother had died to win a good meal -- was KOed just before Morris. Going into the final night against three women, he tried to sow discontent.

Diaz-Twine was no saint, either, at one point swearing on the lives of her two children that she was voting with a fellow contestant when, in fact, she was lying.

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