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Survivor Winner Sarah Lacina: The Surprising Way She'll Spend Her $1 Million Prize

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In the moments after her $1 million win on Survivor: Gamechangers, Sarah Lacina had some pretty crazy plans for her influx of cash.

“Vegas on the way home — double it or nothing,” she told PEOPLE Now host — and fellow Survivor contestant — Andrea Bohelke Wednesday night.

But by Thursday morning the Iowa cop, 32, had a much more practical idea of what she will do with the money.

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“I’m giving 10 percent to my church and then we’re looking into building a house and planning for retirement,” says Lacina, who is a married mom of one.

Lacina dominated most of the season — which had a cast comprised of all-star players known for “game-changing” moves — and says there wasn’t much that caught her by surprise when she watched her 39-day adventure play out on TV.

“I had a really good handle on about 90 percent of what was going on out there. There was very little that I wasn’t already informed about while we were playing,” she says.

  • Watch full episodes of PEN Fan Forum: Survivor, streaming now on People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the app for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, Xfinity, iOS and Android devices.

 

But one aspect of the show Lacina was unsure about was the reaction her conservative family and friends would have to the episode where her tribemate Zeke Smith was outed as transgender. At the emotional tribal council where Smith’s gender history was revealed, Lacina was vocal about how she embraced her friend for the man he is.

“I didn’t know what people would think but everyone has been so positive and I think that’s something great that has come from a really difficult situation,” she says.

Lacina was painted as cutthroat during the final tribal council of the season — where 10 of the eliminated players decided the winner between the final 3 contestants — but she says she has few regrets on how she played the game.

“It wasn’t hard for me because I was doing what I needed to to win and I had to hope that people would respect that,” she says. “But those friendships I made were real and it was hard voting out friends. Voting out Zeke was probably the hardest thing I did out there — just because I like him so much as a person.”