Michigan man survives 66 days in wilderness for $500,000

Posted at 6:49 PM, Jul 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-18 19:12:41-04

KENTWOOD, Mich. - After spending more than 60 days alone in the wilderness, forced to live off the land, David McIntyre survived and walked away with $500,000.

McIntyre was one of ten people dropped off on Vancouver Island in British Columbia as part of the History Channel's survival series, "Alone."

"I was out there 66 days alone, surviving with a full time job as a wilderness photographer," said McIntyre. "There was no way I was tapping out of this."

The name of the game is survive as long as you can. Each contestant was given a satellite phone, and given the option to 'tap out' at any time. Weekly medical checks were their only touch with humanity. Each person was completely alone with no camera crew, required to film their struggle for survival in an effort to take home $500,000.

"You have total freedom to do anything you want, but really you only want to do two things, you wanna get a meal and go to bed," McIntyre said.

McIntyre became an overnight sensation after spending 66 nights under the stars, surviving off the land and using the few tools in his backpack to catch fish and gather supplies. McIntyre says it was only possible because of his faith and the support from his children, who were cheering him on back home .

"You spend all that time realizing you don’t need anything and at the end they hand you a half-million dollars so it kind of re-calibrates your economy a little bit," said McIntyre. "The bush is the world’s best classroom. Cause and effect are instant in the wilderness. You literally make your bed and you lay in it."

The second season, which Dave won, wrapped up just last week with a two hour finale. You can hear more about his adventure Thursday at 9 on the History Channel during the "Alone" reunion episode. As for the cash, Dave intends on setting up a college fund for each of his children.