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“Survivor” winner Mike Gabler says he’ll donate entire $1 million prize to veterans in need


Dec 16, 2022
"Survivor" winner Mike Gabler says he'll donate entire $1 million prize to veterans in need
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After winning season 43 of “Survivor,” Mike Gabler announced he will donate his $1 million prize to veterans in need. 

Gabler, a heart valve specialist from Houston, Texas, revealed to host Jeff Probst in the after-show that he would be putting his prize money toward a cause dear to him.

“There are people who need that money more, 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,” said Gabler, who was named the season’s “Sole Survivor.” 

As the decision was cheered on by his fellow castmates, Gabler, 52, the second-oldest winner ever on the show, said “all of us did this.” 

“We’re gonna save lives, we’re gonna do something good… Million dollars is going to them. We made history guys,” he said. 

Gabler added he had several members of his family and friends in the military. When asked by Probst if he was rich, Gabler said he wasn’t and has “worked very hard.” 

“But I realized being through this experience, I am rich at home,” he said. “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, son. I’m going to do all those things just like all of us are going to do that when we go home.”

He told CBS Bay Area that winning Survivor was “surreal” for him as a fan of the show, and his donation toward veterans was about doing “something good with the money.” 

“While I’ve never been in the service myself, to have the honor to serve them is pretty profound to me,” he said. 

Survivor airs on CBS and Paramount+. Season 44 premieres on Wednesday, March 1, 2023.

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