On August 23, 2000, Richard Hatch, a 39-year-old corporate trainer from Rhode Island, wins the season-one finale of the reality television show Survivor and takes home the promised $1 million prize. In a four-to-three vote by his fellow contestants, Hatch, who was known for walking around naked on the island in Borneo where the show was shot, was named Sole Survivor over the river raft guide Kelly Wiglesworth. Survivor, whose slogan is “Outwit, Outplay, Outlast,” was a huge ratings success and spawned numerous imitators in the reality-competition genre.
Produced by Mark Burnett (The Voice, The Apprentice), Survivor premiered on May 31, 2000, on CBS. The show centers around a group of sixteen strangers who are stranded for 39 days in a remote location where they must fend for food, water and shelter and compete in various challenges to win rewards and immunity from being voted out of the competition by their fellow contestants. The voting takes place at the so-called “Tribal Council” ceremony and after a contestant is voted off, the show’s host Jeff Probst informs that person that “the tribe has spoken” and asks the evictee to extinguish his or her torch. Survivor had been on the air for 40 seasons.