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Two with Utah Ties Win Reality Shows

Two with Utah Ties Win Reality Shows



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Shelley Osterloh Reporting When it comes to reality TV shows, Utahns are big winners. Last night people with Utah ties won the grand prize on two network shows – “The Biggest Loser" and "Rebel Billionaire."

In NBC's hit reality show "The Biggest Loser", Ryan Benson started at 330 pounds. And at the final weigh-in Ryan beat out Gary and Kelly, losing 122 pounds and winning a quarter of a million dollars.

Michelle Hansen, Ryan's Sister: "I just am so excited for him."

Benson and his sister Michelle Hansen both graduated from BYU. She lives in Salt Lake, and like her brother, struggled with weight, getting up to 315 pounds before having gastric bypass surgery.

Michelle Hansen , Ryan's Sister: “There was no sugar in the house and that type of thing so my brother and I joke when we get away from the home then we'd want to eat everything we could because we didn't have it at home."

And on Fox network's, "The Rebel Billionaire”, Richard Branson picked his winner -- Utah native Shawn Nelson, the 28-year old entrepreneur who started LoveSac.

Shawn started sewing these giant oversized beanbags in his mother's basement in 1998. Now there are 60 stores around the country, one in Australia, and no doubt, more on the way. Nelson won a million dollars and a temporary job running Virgin with Branson.

The Olympus High and U of U graduate also served a two year LDS church mission in Taiwan, and says growing up in Utah helped prepare him for the show's challenges.

Shawn Nelson, Winner "Rebel Billionaire": "I love a good adventure. I love traveling, doing crazy stuff so this show was definitely made for me, I think."

Shawn says he's not sure what Branson plans for him, but he knows it'll be good for his growing company, Lovesac which last year had $25-million in sales.

Another surprise twist to the Biggest Loser show, contestants who were eliminated earlier still have a chance to win 100-thousand dollars. You can watch it next Tuesday on channel 5.

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