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'Survivor: Panama' winner Aras Baskauskas overwhelmed by victory

UPI News Service, 05/15/2006 

The $1 million winner of CBS' "Survivor: Panama" reality competition described the experience Monday as "overwhelming" and "exciting."

Yoga instructor Aras Baskauskas, 24, of Santa Monica, Calif., told CBS' "Early Morning Show" that Sunday night's live results show in which he was chosen the winner by his fellow castaways "hasn't sunk in."

"It's really exciting. It's overwhelming," he said. "It's so hard to even fathom a million dollars in my mind, living with my dad and freeloading like I do. So it's an honor to be here. It's really overwhelming."

Baskauskas said he had no idea how Sunday nights' vote was going to end.

"There were a lot of unknowns," he said. "It ended up going my way. It could have easily gone the other way."

"Survivor" host Jeff Probst gave the latest winner some sound advise during Sunday's broadcast, reminding him to "pay your taxes."

The show's first $1 million dollar champ, Richard Hatch, is being sentenced Tuesday for failing to pay taxes on his winnings and other income.

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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