Who won the money? Who got together? Who split up? A recap of a busy night in reality TV

By Gabrielle Olya
September 10, 2012 10:05 PM
Todd Wawrychuk/ABC

It seems only fitting that this dramatic season of Bachelor Pad would conclude with an explosive finale – featuring shocking relationship updates, an on-air engagement and a very unexpected allocation of the prize money.

The final two couples vying for the $250,000 jackpot were fan favorite Rachel Trueheart and her partner Nick Peterson, and season villain Chris Bukowski and his partner Sarah Newlon.

Who took home the cash? Read on for spoilers.

This season’s eliminated housemates chose the winning couple by popular vote, which ended up 13-3 in favor of Trueheart and Peterson. But then those two each had to decide if they would share the prize or try keep it for themselves, at the risk of losing everything.

For the first time in Bachelor Pad history, one person made off with the whole pot. Peterson, an underdog all season, chose to keep the $250,000 for himself. Trueheart voted to share the prize, meaning she went home empty-handed.

“I don’t feel like I owe $125,000 to someone I just got slapped together with at the very end of the show,” Peterson told PEOPLE. “It sucks a little bit [for Rachel], but I have to remember that this is a game, and this was the best way to play it.”

Peterson said he plans to use his winnings to buy a car.

Money wasn’t the only thing Trueheart lost. Earlier in the show, Michael Stagliano revealed that he had ended things with the 27-year-old executive assistant. “She was falling in love, and I just wasn’t,” he explained.

Love, Not Money

Still, several other contestants did find love during their stay at the mansion. Lindzi Cox and Kalon McMahon are still going strong, even though she lives in Seattle and he splits his time between Houston and Southern California.

“I think we’re both really excited to see where this goes,” McMahon said. “I do want to be with her every minute of every day, but I think we’re both strong enough personalities that we’re both willing and able to make it work.”

Ed Swiderski described himself as “100 percent single,” but Jaclyn Swartz said the two are “more than friends” and are taking baby steps in their blossoming relationship.

One person not taking baby steps is Tony Pieper, who proposed to Blakeley Jones during the finale, surprising Jones as much as the audience. “I’m still in shock!” she told PEOPLE. “I had no shadow of a doubt that I would marry this man. I just didn’t know when it would happen.”

“I move quick,” joked Pieper, who had already asked Jones to move in with him. “I just had that feeling, and I care about this girl more than I’ve cared about anybody else in my entire life.”

While they didn’t take home the top prize, runners-up Bukowski and Newlon seem to have come away with something more valuable – a developing relationship.

“We have a great time together,” said Newlon. “There’s a lot of chemistry.”