Checking In on 22 Big Brother Winners: Where Are They Now?

Find out what Eddie McGee, and more of the iconic CBS reality hit's top houseguests did with their $500K money and which stars retreated from the spotlight

By Tierney Bricker Jul 07, 2020 12:00 AMTags
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Big Brother has officially been watching for 20 years. 

The iconic CBS reality series premiered July 2000, with viewers watching almost in real-time as a group of houseguests lived together and were filmed 24/7.Thanks to the drama caused by the competitions, votes and alliances, Big Brother quickly became the HOH of summer TV and one of reality TV's most popular and long-running shows. 

The series has had its fair share of controversies over the years, making headlines throughout its run each summer for the houseguests' antics. And like its CBS reality sibling Survivor, several showmances have gone down in the house, with some even managing to continue after the final vote was cast. 

With 21 regular seasons and one digital-only season, Over the Top, just 22 people can say they've won the U.S. version of Big Brother, winning $500,000. While some have gone on to continue appearing on reality TV, others completely retreated from the spotlight. 

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Plus, winners such as Josh Martinez, Andy Herren and more revealed their favorite memories from their time on the show, as well as what they did with their cash prize...

Season 1: Eddie McGee

After becoming Big Brother's first-ever U.S. winner in September 2000, the wheelchair basketball star, who lost his leg to cancer when he was a child, went on have an acting career, appearing in movies such as The Human Race and God's Pocket.

McGee's also made appearances on hit series such as Desperate Housewives, NCIS: Los Angeles, 9-1-1, Chicago Med and Hunters.

Season 2: Will Kirby

The aesthetic dermatologist returned for another shot at the grand prize in the All-Stars season but came in fourth place.

After his BB run ended, Kirby, 47, went on to have a successful career as a TV doctor, appearing on Dr. 90210 and The Doctors, and he also hosted NBC's short-lived reality series Love Shack. He's now serving as the chief medical officer of LaserAway. 

In 2017, Kirby married Erin Brodie, a fellow reality TV vet who won For Love or Money, and the couple has two children together. In 2010, he delivered his own son, Cash Kirby, and they welcomed a daughter, Scarlett, two years later. 

Season 3: Lisa Donahue

The bartender became the first-ever female winner of the U.S. version when she beat Danielle Reyes in a 9-1 vote. In 2006, she attempted to return for the All-Stars season, but was ultimately not invited back.

Following her win, Donahue landed a recurring role on HBO's Entourage and also guest-starred on Dr. Vegas.

She is now working as a professional photographer. 

Season 4: Jun Song

The investment banker managed to secure the win despite being one of the five houseguests who also had an ex enter the competition with them in a new twist. 

After guest-starring on CBS' Yes, Dear, Song ended up relocating to Belgium after falling in love with Davy Goethals. After getting married in 2010, the couple welcomed their son, Noah. In 2017, Song and Goethals split, and she now works at Proxyclick, a software start-up. 

Season 5: Drew Daniel

The recent college grad became the first person to ever win Head of Household four times during his winning season after recently graduating from Miami University in his native Ohio before taking home the $500K. 

Daniel, who has mostly retreated from the public eye, but he reportedly graduated from the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University.

Season 6: Maggie Ausburn

The ER nurse won the "Summer of Secrets"-themed 2005 season in a 4-3 vote. But since winning she has shied away from the media.

Season 7: Mike"Boogie" Malin

While the bar owner was the first-ever houesguest to win the Head of Household title in season two, Malin didn't win until he returned for the All-Stars season. But he became on of the show's biggest villains because of his showmance with Erika Landin, the runner-up. He returned as a coach in season 14. 

The 47-year-old has had small roles in projects like the film Gun and the TV series Monk.

Season 8: Dick Donato

Donato's winning season also served as a bit of family therapy as his estranged daughter Daniele Donato also competed, with the pair making it to the very end together and becoming the first family members to take home the top two prizes.

While the father and daughter duo returned for season 13 as part of the "duos" twist, he left during the first week due to "an urgent personal matter."

Donato, nicknamed "Evel Dick" for his villainous reality TV ways, later revealed on VH1's Couples Therapy that he had been HIV positive since 2011.

"There was a million rumors why I left but nobody knew and nobody ever found out," the bar owner explained of leaving BB. "When you go on that show, they give you a million tests and blood tests and so on and so forth and it turned out I was HIV Positive."

Donato now hosts his own Big Brother recap podcast, Dick at Nite.

Season 9: Adam Jasinski

Just one year after he won, Jasinski was arrested in October 2009 as part of a drug-trafficking bust after he attempted to sell some 2,000 oxycodone pills to an undercover government witness. He later plead to a drug charge and failing to file a tax return on his 2008 half-million dollar winnings and he was sentenced to four years in federal prison.

"I stopped putting reality on a shelf and faced life head on by tackling both my bipolar disorder and my drug dependence with extreme action," he wrote of this time on his website

The 42-year-old former public relations manager is now works as an addiction specialist and interventionist. In 2017, Jasinski released his book My Kid's On Drugs, Now What?, a resource to help parents to help  their children with long-term sobriety. 

Season 10: Dan Gheesling

The YouTube personality was the first-ever competitor to make it to the final two in two different seasons, winning season 10 and coming in second place during season 14. 

Married to Chelsea Niemiec since 2011, the couple have two sons, Desmond and Miles.

In addition to hosing his own podcast, Gheesling, 36, is also a popular Twitch streamer. 

Season 11: Jordan Lloyd

Lloyd was placed in the popular clique in her season's "high school clique twist," with the waitress quickly entering a close alliance with Jeff Schroeder. The pair were dubbed "America's Couple" and she ultimately went on to win. Two seasons later, the couple returned to compete again as part of the "duos twist" though neither won but Schroeder would late propose to Lloyd in the BB backyard when they visited the season 16 cast.

Llyod and Schroeder also competed together on The Amazing Race in 2010 before going on to get married in March 2016. They welcomed their first child, a son named Lawson, in October 2016. In September 2018, their second son, Layton, was born. The family lives in Colorado and the couple has their own popular YouTube channel. 

Season 12: Hayden Moss

After winning one of CBS' biggest reality series, Moss went on to try and win the other won, competing on Survivor: Blood vs. Water with his then-girlfriend Kat Edorsso, a Survivor alum. He ultimately came in 7th place. He was the first Big Brother alum to compete on Survivor.

The couple later split, and Moss, 34, has been dating Kellie Janeski for five years.

Season 13: Rachel Reilly

"Meeting my hubby," Reilly told E! of her favorite memory from her time on BB. "It has been 10 years for us this summer."

Reilly first competed on season 12 before returning the following season for a "Returning Duos" twist with her fellow houseguest turned beau Brendon Villegas and going on to win.

The couple went on to compete on two seasons of The Amazing Race together, coming in third place each time, and they also had their own wedding special air on WeTV in 2012.  Reilly also competed on The Amazing Race season 31 with her sister, Elissa Slater. She also had a recurring role on The Bold and the Beautiful for several years.  

In 2016, Reilly and Villegas welcomed their first child together, a daughter named Adora Borealis Villegas, and in May 2020, the couple announced they were expecting their second child. 

With her Big Brother prize money, Reilly spilled she was able to buy her first house in L.A. She also added with a laugh, "I also helped the hubby through his PhD! Gosh and two kids, wedding, life, everything! It helps with a nest egg."

Season 14: Ian Terry

The then-chemical engineering student went on to compete on Reality GameMasters shortly after his BB win. He graduated from Tulane University in 2013 and now lives in Houston working as a consulting analyst. 

Season 15: Andy Herren

The college professor managed to stay under the radar, never receiving an eviction vote, on his road to winning his season, becoming Big Brother's first openly gay winner.

The 33-year-old picked the first time he won Head of Household has his favorite memory from filming. 

"Every morning, production would play all of us pop songs to wake us up, and they'd usually cater to the tastes of whoever was HoH that week. My HoH reign was in August, so I jokingly kept saying that 'Christmas Shoes' was my favorite song in an effort to get production to play it one morning. On the last day of my HoH, they played it!"

He continued, "I woke up and immediately started laughing and ran downstairs and made everyone sit in the living room so we could listen together. Listening to a ridiculous, sappy Christmas song in the middle of August in the Big Brother house is a truly absurd moment that I will never forget."

Herren also revealed what he did with his prize money.

"When I was in college I lost roughly 100 pounds in a little over a year, so I had loose skin on my chest and stomach that I pretty much had no control over. So, I got elective skin removal surgery after Big Brother," Herren revealed. "It was roughly $20,000 out of pocket, but it was prize money well spent!"

Plus, he also took a month-long trip to Australia, diving on the Great Barrier Reef which "was a lifelong dream" for him. 

Last month, Herren took to Twitter to sound off on the CBS reality hit's lack of "minority representation, " saying diversity "has always been atrocious" on BB.

Season 16: Derrick Levasseaur

After teaming up with Cody Calafiore and dubbing themselves "the Hitmen" alliance, the close pair made it to the final two together, with Levasseaur, a police officer at the time, ultimately winning. 

Since his time in the house, the 36-year-old is now the lead investigator on the Investigation Discovery series Breaking Homicide. In 2018, he released a book, The Undercover Edge: Find Your Hidden Strengths, Learn to Adapt, and Build the Confidence to Win Life's Game.

Married to Jana Donlin since 2011, the couple have two daughters, Tenley Rose and Peyton.

Season 17: Steve Moses

After winning the grand prize, Moses, 27, went on to graduate from State University of New York at Fredonia, going on to enroll at the University of Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music to get his MFA in sound design.  

Season 18: Nicole Franzel

After first competing on Big Brother in 2014, Franzel, an ER nurse, returning two years later to take home the grand prize and become the first female houseguest to beat a male houseguest in the final two in the show's U.S. history.

"I bought my first house! It's a perfect starter home for me and located in the small Midwestern town where I grew up!" she said of her home in Ubly, Michigan (which has a population of just 841!), adding she is "now saving for a future farm house for my future family!"

Franzel, 27, began dating fellow houseguest Victor Arroyo during season 18, with the couple going on to compete on The Amazing Race season 31, coming in fourth place. The pair, who got engaged in September 2018, and host the popular Coco Caliente podcast together.

Of all of her memories from her time on Big Brother, Franzel revealed to us her favorite was entering the iconic house for the very first time. 

"It was so surreal to actually be there! I was the first one called into the diary room tooa and it was the coolest thing ever as a super fan of the show. I almost peed my pants."

Over the Top: Morgan Willett

The spin instructor was the first and only winner of the franchise's digital spinoff, with the former cheerleader going on to join the MTV reality family as a cast member of Ex on the Beach and The Challenge

It was during her stint on The Challenge that Willett, 26, met her now live-in boyfriend Johnny Bananas.

Willett, who hosts , admitted to us, "I didn't make any crazy purchases once I won, instead I used the money to move to California. But I did just purchase a new car with my winnings three years that was fun! Except I've totaled two cars so who knows how long this one will last." 

As for her favorite memory from Over the Top, the Quarter Life Crisis podcast co-host said it was getting to play the game with her sister, Alex.

"It brought us so close and I'll never forget telling Shelby about our 'sister secret' and having her absolutely freak out," she explained. "It was fun tricking people into believing we weren't related but also incredibly stressful. I'll never forget it!"

Season 19: Josh Martinez

Since winning the CBS reality competition in 2017, Martinez, 26, has gone on to become a regular cast member on MTV's popular The Challenge.

"I've been a huge fan of the show since I was 14 years old so it was such a dream to play the game," he told E!. "Besides winning the game and making history as the only Latino but second minority to ever do it, makes the winning moment for me so much better."

Going on to say he "loved everything" about his time on the show, Martinez said, "Those 92 days in that house changed the course of my life and I'm forever grateful. It has opened so many doors for me and now I'm able to compete on The Challenge. So life has been great since."

As for what he's done with his winnings, the Miami-based reality star revealed, "I have been very smart with my earnings. I still have a lot of money left from my winnings but I invested in a few rental properties in South Florida and invested in the stock market. I think luxuries would be that I booked a week vacation for my family. I'm a big family guy so anytime I can give back, I do."

Season 20: Kaycee Clark

The pro football player was able to dominate competitions to win her season, going on to compete against her former co-stars on MTV's The Challenge: Total Madness, including Bayleigh Dayton and Swaggy C Williams, making her debut on the reality competition series.

The 32-year-old, nicknamed Lil' Peanut, has been dating model Tayler Jiminez for several years. While she had "a lot of favorite" memories and moments from Big Brother, Clark revealed "the forever friendships I built in there with amazing people and all the laughs" made the top of her list.

As for what Clark did with her BB prize money, she told E!, "The most memorable purchase (I mean I didn't buy anything too crazy, I still have my old car), so memorable would be, to have paid off my debt and my car...majority of it is invested."

Season 21: Jackson Michie

Michie, a 25-year-old server, beat out girlfriend Holly Allen, whom he started dating in the BB house, to win the most recent season in a 6-3 jury vote.

Alas, the showmance didn't last. In June 2020, the couple revealed they had broken up, both posting statements on their respective Instagram accounts.

"There has been one constant through it all and that's the amazing woman standing next to me," he wrote. "Life has continued to work in ways neither of [us] expected, and sadly life will be taking us in different directions. This isn't because of bad actions or words, rather, two people who deeply love each other recognizing that a relationship may not be for the best."

Still, Michie has nothing but fond memories from his time on the show, telling E!, "Hands down my favorite part of Big Brother was all of the laughs, stories, and memories we all had being cooped up in that house for 99 days. After a while, conversation gets ridiculous and I had some of my best, least-distracted times with them."

As for any big purchases he made with his earnings, he revealed he bought a new TV.

"I've never gone into a Best Buy and picked the biggest baddest tv on display and said, 'That one. I want THAT one.' So I did," he said. "I don't like spending money on materialistic things, but I treated myself just this once and it was worth it... especially during hours of quarantine binge-watching."