Reality TV's First Winners
Richard Hatch: Survivor
It’s been nearly a decade since Richard Hatch’s fellow competitor on Survivor: Borneo deemed him a snake in the season finale in August 2000. But since then, the reality-TV-made millionaire has continued to slither his way into the headlines. In the immediate aftermath of the show’s premiere season, Hatch made the most of his newfound fame, appearing on Survivor: All Stars, Dog Eat Dog, The Weakest Link, Battle of the Network Reality Stars, and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? But five years after emerging victorious and notoriously shedding both pounds and clothing on the show’s Malaysian island, Hatch failed to report the money he had won from Survivor as well as earnings from a Boston radio station on his federal income-tax returns. After being found guilty in 2006, Hatch began his 51-month prison sentence, plus three years of supervised release. Though he tried to appeal and petition his conviction, his efforts were rebuffed. Finally, in May 2009, Hatch was released from jail and prepared to undergo house arrest. But the battle wasn’t over for the constantly cocky personality, who may have outwitted, outplayed, and outlasted his competition, but not the federal courts. After doing interviews with both Access Hollywood and Today, Hatch was re-arrested in August for speaking to the media, but contends that he was prosecuted not for his alleged financial indiscretions, but because of his sexual orientation. Just two months ago, on October 16, Hatch was released from prison after completing his federal sentence.