‘Survivor’ Super-Fan Adam Klein Triumphs And Opens Up About His Big Win For His Mom

In what’s being called the most emotional “Survivor” finale ever , millennial Adam Klein was victorious with a unanimous vote from the jury. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house or any house watching the finale for that matter as the 25-year-old homeless shelter manager accomplished his life-long dream of winning the reality competition show, and all for his mother, Suzie, who sadly passed away from stage four lung cancer just hours after he returned home from Fiji.

“The reason I was out there was to bring joy to my family so they could watch me at home and be a part of it with me,” Adam explains. “It didn’t happen like I imagined it happening with us on the couch watching together with my mom but she lived it she really did.”

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Opening up further, Adam reveals how his mother knew just how well her son was doing as she awaited his return at home while he played the game, “Something I haven’t mentioned… well, it’s coming out now – exclusive – my mom stopped treatment and towards the end of the game she was gaining so much strength by having me out there but at the same time they knew she’s not undergoing treatment right now and they made the decision that if I was voted out of the game that I would have come home.”

Typically castaways who make up the jury stay on the island until the final tribal council, but Adam would have left if his torch was snuffed. “Every day that I didn’t come home was another day that she knew I was moving forward in the game. She was able to live it right there alongside me from the other side of the earth and know that I was succeeding,“ he tells ET Canada’s Erin Cebula.

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During a lighter moment, Adam teases Erin for some comments she made on Post Tribal, ET Canada’s “Survivor: Millennial vs. Gen X” podcast. “I think you underestimated me a little bit!” he laughs. “It’s okay, a lot of people did and that’s why I got to where I got. I played that up. I wanted people to think that I wasn’t going to get votes in the end, but I knew I was making these one on one relationships… with the people that were ultimately going to make up the jury.”

He made it all the way to the end and took home the title, but if he could go back would he do anything differently? “I wouldn’t change anything because it ended up working out. I definitely recognize that I made mistakes along the way…{but} I think it was my recovery from those mistakes that was able to get me to the win,” Adam shares.

As for the million dollars? During the live reunion show, Adam pledged to donate $100,000 to lung cancer research and the rest he says will not be blown, “I’m not going to be buying any cars! I’m not a big spender… I work for a non-profit, that’s my career, so I don’t necessarily make the most money… so this money is going to allow me to continue to pursue my passions and put my efforts towards things that I think are worthwhile for this world.”

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