Who Said Youth Was Wasted On The Young? Ultimate ‘Survivor’ Winner Is 25 And $1M Richer

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com)  —   In the end, one player out-lasted, out-played and out-witted all the others.

Adam Klein was named the winner Wednesday of “Survivor: Millennials Vs. Gen X.” He won $1 million for his efforts.

“Millennials Vs Gen X” was the 33rd installment of the popular reality show. The winner was named during a live broadcast from CBS in Television City.

Klein, 25, the manager of a homeless shelter in San Francisco, won unanimously.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Adam was a “Survivor” superfan who has been watching the show since he was 9.   Prior to being selected he was asked why he thought he might win. He replied, “No one is going to fight as hard as I will for that title. I may be—and look—young, I may be small, but my fellow competitors won’t know what kind of power punch I pack until they are already knocked out. I will use my youthful charm and energy, combined with my strategic nature to win. I come from a long line of real-life survivors, and I am next. ”

CBS2/KCAL9 Entertainment Reporter Suzanne Marques spoke to Adam moments after he was declared the winner.

In the past few weeks, he broke down on camera several times saying he was playing for his mom, Susie, who had been battling stage 4 lung cancer.

He kept the secret to himself but finally broke down to his chief adversary, Jay. Even Jay was surprised jokingly calling their love-hate relationship “the most dysfunctional relationship I’ve ever been in.” He added, “We’re like brothers. We’re just messed up.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

When it was down to Adam, fellow millennial Hannah (the 24-year-old barista) and Ken, the 33-year-old male model, and lone Gen X-er), Adam shared about his family ordeal and why it was important for him to have competed even while his mother was sick back home. “She encouraged me to be here, she knew this was my dream,” he said.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Adam told the CBS finale audience his mom died an hour after he arrived home from filming.

“I think she would be honored that her legacy is going to go way, way beyond the life that she lived. And she lived an incredible life ,” he told Marques.

Adam played a strategic game and won the respect of his peers for making big moves.

There were three Millennials and three Gen X-ers in the final six. The final three consisted of Adam, Hannah and Ken, the lone Gen X-er. Early on, the Millennials were written off by some fans for their work ethic (they romped on the beach knowing a hurricane was coming.) In the end, before the merge of both tribes, the millennials showed they could band together and work hard.

Adam stood out this season when he found the first Hidden Immunity Idol in episode 4. From that point on, he played a fearless game. He also won an advantage to steal anyone’s reward in episode 8, and later snagged individual Immunity in episode 11.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Being a superfan, Adam’s played a very strategic and heartfelt game, and has truly earned his spot in the finals. Clearly, the jury of ten also thought so.

He told the audience Wednesday he planned to donate $100,000 of his prize money to StandUp2Cancer in his mother’s memory. Also on the finale, executive producer and host Jeff Probst announced that Bristol-Myers Squibb Company would match donations by the public up to $100,000.

Fans of the show can also buy memorabilia and props from “Millennials Vs Gen  X” exclusively on eBay through Dec. 24. Proceeds also benefit StandUp2Cancer.

Probst also introduced seven players for the upcoming 34th installment, “Survivor: Game Changers” — featuring seven former fan favorites including two-time winner Sandra, Tony, Ozzy and Cirie. Michaela, from this season, will also be in the cast. “Game Changers” premieres in March and is “really good,” Probst promised.

Adam’s winning moment

A sneak peak at season 34: “Survivor — Game Changers”

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