Archive Page - 08/16/13 41 years, 2,173 covers and 55,054 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Marla Sokoloff Blogs: Our Second Child Is a ...
- The Style Top 5: Sarah Jessica Parker Brings Her Shoe Line to Zappos
Katy Perry Preps for the Super Bowl and More
- New Couple Alert: AnnaLynne McCord Is Dating Former Laker Rick Fox
- Game of Thrones: Season 5 Trailer is Out (Or Should We Say Leaked?)
- Matt Damon, Ben Affleck & More Defend Tom Brady in Super Bowl Sketch
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Friday January 30, 2015 12:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- June 03, 2002
- Vol. 57
- No. 21
Vee for Victory
With Schemes in Her Mind and Faith in Her Soul, Office Manager Vecepia Towery Wins Survivor: Marquesas
Now that she's survivalicious too, the 36-year-old office manager from Hayward, Calif., can splurge: Towery walked off with the $1 million prize on the May 19 Survivor: Marquesas finale. This time (have we really been through four of these things?) the Tribal Council assembled in Manhattan's Central Park, with host Jeff Probst reading off the 4-3 vote that made Towery the victor over Neleh Dennis, a 22-year-old psychology student from Layton, Utah. "I was so excited, I fell backwards," says Towery, whose first name is pronounced ve-SEP-ia. "I was beating on the ground, saying, 'Thank you, Lord.'"
The 15 other Survivor contestants who struggled along with Towery on the few calories nature had to offer—she dropped from 139 to 119 lbs.—know about her faith in prayer. (She worships at the Jubilee Christian Center near her home.) Towery's faith in herself is equally unwavering. Last spring, "after I sent in my application for the show, I took a Post-it and wrote, 'I will be a Survivor' and stuck it on my computer," she says. "Once I found out I'd made it on the show, I rewrote it: 'I will be the ultimate Survivor.'"
To do it, the Portland, Ore., native, daughter of a nurse's assistant and a merchant seaman, followed the dance steps laid down in the sand by Survivor's original choreographer of deceit, Richard Hatch. She started with a basic scheme—"Get rid of the strongest people"—and stuck to the principle that alliances are made to be broken. Although Towery is described as "a compassionate, loving girl" by runner-up Dennis, "she wasn't afraid to deceive," says Probst. "At the end she said, 'I deceived some of you. And I'm sitting here and you're not.'"
So she's complicated. And physically disciplined, thanks to six years active duty in the Air Force. In Turkey during Operation Desert Storm, "there were times when I had to sit in a foxhole with someone I couldn't stand," she says. "But you learn to do what needs to be done to take care of the job at hand."
Now she needs to manage her winnings. Some will go to completing the 600-sq.-ft. addition she and Robinson have been adding onto their three-bedroom home. Says Towery: "We ran out of money about a month and a half ago."
Fannie Weinstein and Mary Green in New York City and Lauren Comander in Chicago
- Fannie Weinstein,
- Mary Green,
- Lauren Comander.
January 30, 2015
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!