The City of Williamsburg will celebrate and recognize its most famous son, “Survivor: David versus Goliath” winner Nick Wilson, on Jan. 14.
Wilson, known on the show as the, “hillbilly lawyer,” outwitted, outplayed and outlasted the 19 other contestants over 39 days on an island in Fiji to take home the $1 million prize.
“Surreal,” is how Wilson described the victory when the final votes were counted on live television on Dec. 19.
Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison said the regular Williamsburg City Council meeting will be moved from city hall to the Williamsburg Civic Center so a larger crowd may be accommodated for the event that will include presenting Wilson with the key to the city, and proclaiming Jan. 16 as “Nick Wilson Day” in the City of Williamsburg.
In addition, Harrison said he has been speaking with State Representative Regina Bunch–Huff, R–Williamsburg in an effort to have signs erected near Exit 11 on Interstate 75 recognizing Wilson’s feat.
“The only way to do that is through the legislature,” Harrison said of having the signs installed.
Harrison said Williamsburg officials may consider another, more elaborate sign near downtown Williamsburg in honor of Wilson.
Wilson said he had applied multiple times to be a Survivor contestant.
“I’m just naturally a good fit,” Wilson said. “If you are too strong, you are voted off because you are a threat. If you are too weak to help around camp, you are voted off.
“I was able to strike that perfect balance,” he said.
Wilson said just opening his mouth actually put him at an advantage.
“People would hear my accent and instantly perceive me as not being very smart,” Wilson said.
“I was camouflaged really well,” he said.
Wilson said after watching each episode of the season, he believes what CBS showed viewers was an accurate presentation of the real Nick Wilson.
“They have footage of me looking good and looking bad,” he added.
“It is kind of odd at first,” Wilson said of having the cameras film almost every waking moment of your life.
“It is kind of odd at first, but, after a while, you just forget that they are there,” Wilson said.
Wilson said schedule of tribal councils, immunity challenges and trying to find food keeps the contestants busy, giving little time to really think about missing home.
However, there was one instance where he nearly broke.
“It was about day 24 or 25. We had no tribal council, and we were sitting around camp and I began to miss food and miss a real bathroom,” Wilson said.
“It was the only time I said, ‘If I’m not going to win, I would rather go home sooner rather than later,’” he said adding that a producer reminded him this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
When he returned to the United States, real food was a big priority.
“The first place I went was Chick-fil-A,” Wilson said.
While he didn’t have the opportunity to explore Fiji, Wilson said one reward involved a helicopter flight over the island. Fellow contestant David Able won that reward and elected to take Wilson with him.
“It reminded me of how beautiful it is here,” Wilson said. “So the first day I got back, I went to places like Cumberland Falls and Dog Slaughter Falls.”
Wilson said since things have begun slowing down, he has had the chance to step back and appreciate what he was able to accomplish.
“I’m so very blessed to get the opportunity to compete. I don’t take it lightly,” Wilson said.
Wilson said even though he had to wait seven months to learn the results of the final vote, he wasn’t sweating it.
“I was pretty sure I had won,” he said.
As to what he will do with the $1 million, the first order of business is to pay the taxes on it.
“Once I know how much is left, I will go from there.
For now, Wilson said he is just content to move on with his daily life and work again at his regular job.
“I’m excited to work at the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. It is a good opportunity to help the people around here,” Wilson said. “I hope to use the position to better the community.”