Sandra Diaz-Twine wins $1 million and SUV as final


Monday, December 15th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


NEW YORK (AP) _ 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's three-hour finale of ``Survivor: Pearl Islands'' on Sunday.

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

``I'm in shock! I'm in shock!'' Diaz-Twine said in an interview with The Associated Press. ``I didn't think I was going to win so I didn't make any plans for the money.''

She didn't have too much trouble thinking of a few ideas, however: new cars for her mother and grandmother, a cruise vacation and ``something for my husband.''

She said she was surprised that Morris had cast the deciding vote that enabled her to be in the game's final two contestants instead of Jon Dalton, who had been the game's most notorious villain since Richard Hatch won the ``Survivor'' first season. But she said it proved the unpredictability of the game.

The CBS game has proven the most popular, long-running 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 Dalton helped make this fall's game _ set on a remote island off Panama _ particularly popular. Dalton had earlier lied and said his grandmother had died to win a good meal.

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

``I was mumbling under my breath, `I'm gonna get you, sucker,''' she said. ``Jon had back-stabbed me too many times for me to trust him.''