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Survivor Winner to Pay Off Dad's Mortgage

Survivor Winner to Pay Off Dad's Mortgage
Tina Fineberg/AP

updated 05/15/2006 AT 05:00 PM EDT

originally published 05/15/2006 AT 08:00 AM EDT

Aras Baskauskas, who won the $1 million prize on Survivor: Panama, Exile Island Sunday night, is already figuring out how to spend his new fortune.

"(I'll) pay off Pop's mortgage," he told PEOPLE on Monday, referring to his dad. "I am also looking for people interested in going with me on a yoga retreat."

Baskauskas, a 24-year-old yoga instructor from Santa Monica, Calif., said he also planned to use his money to go to Sri Lanka this summer to do some charitable work, open his own yoga studio and "just stay grounded."

After becoming the twelfth winner of the long-running CBS reality show, Baskauskas told CBS.com that he felt "awesome." Offering advice to future Survivor players, he said, "The more real you can be out there, the more successful you'll be at it."

Baskauskas, who briefly played professional basketball in Lithuania, edged out Danielle DiLorenzo, a 24-year-old medical sales representative from Boston whom host Jeff Probst had called one of "the weakest players who've ever played the game."

Still, during the two-hour finale she managed to win the final immunity challenge – a contest that involved balancing on a series of wobbly foam platforms in the ocean.

The victory allowed DiLorenzo to eliminate one of two players still standing, Baskauskas or ex-Navy fighter pilot Terry Deitz, with whom she'd formed an alliance. So much for the alliance: She sent Deitz, 46, home, thinking he disliked Baskauskas and would vote against him.

But during the final council vote, Deitz voted for Baskauskas. "I knew I would get Terry's vote," Baskauskas told PEOPLE on Monday.

In other Survivor news, the show's first winner, Richard Hatch, is due to appear in a Providence, R.I., courtroom on Tuesday to face sentencing for evading taxes on his winnings from the show and other income.

As Probst told Baskauskas on Sunday night after his victory: "Pay your taxes!"

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