Williamsburg officials have begun planning to celebrate Nick Wilson’s $1 million victory on TV’s “Survivor.”
The Williamsburg native took home the title and top prize last week.
“It is huge,” said Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison.
Harrison said officials will be presenting Wilson with the Key to the City. In addition, the mayor will sign a proclamation declaring “Nick Wilson Day” in the city.
Harrison said officials are working on erecting a sign to commemorate Wilson’s accomplishment.
“We are still nailing it down,” Harrison said of where the sign will be placed and whether it would be a state highway sign, or a custom sign.
“If it is placed on a state road it has to be one of their signs,” Harrison explained. “The city can have a sign built and placed on city property, or alongside a city street.”
“I’m going to look at every avenue,” Harrison added.
Harrison said he had not yet spoken with Wilson or any of his family members concerning the dates and times for the proclamation and key presentation, but it would be scheduled to take place after the holidays.
“We will get the notification out to the public in a timely manner so everyone can make plans to be there,” Harrison said.
Wilson, who was known as the “hillbilly lawyer” on the show, will be moving to the other side of the courtroom, joining incoming Commonwealth’s Attorney Ronnie Bowling’s staff as an assistant, after previously serving as a public defender.
Bowling said Wilson has the intelligence, athleticism and interpersonal skills necessary to compete on the show.
“He was a great fit for “Survivor,” Bowling said.
Bowling said though Wilson would not share any details about his experience during filming, Bowling felt confident that he would go far in the game, and had a shot to win.
“Nick is a very genuine guy. You can take him at his word,” Bowling said. “His best quality is that he sticks to his guns.”
“After he got the target off his back the first week, he forged alliances and always leveraged things to survive.
While Wilson had known he had made it to the final three, Bowling said he was very tight-lipped about the show.
“The guy would not give any details,” Bowling said of Wilson.
The theme of this season was, “David versus Goliath.”
The David Tribe, of which Wilson was a member, was made up of individuals who had scratched and clawed their way through life.
The Goliath Tribe was made up of members who had come from a place of privilege and had capitalized on their advantage to crush the competition.
After the December 12 show when the final five were announced, Wilson found himself the last David remaining.
“I felt like I was up against the whole Philistine Army,” Wilson said on the show.
Yet Wilson continued to persevere, reaching the final vote Wednesday night against Mike White and Angelina Keeley.
Seconds after the final vote was cast, host Jeff Probst whisked the jar away, explaining the results would be revealed during the live reunion.
Wilson received the first vote out of the jar, but White came back with the next three votes. However, the final five votes went in Wilson’s favor, sending the 27-year-old into tears as he hugged his family.
“Surreal,” is how Wilson described winning the 39-day adventure.
“I went through tons of ups and downs in this game,” Wilson added.
First Baptist Church Pastor Austin Carty, who competed on “Survivor” in 2005, credited Wilson for playing the game perfectly.
“He was one, if not the most socially competent players. He was dominant in the challenges. He made subtle maneuvers that allowed him to be in control,” Carty said of Wilson.
“This was one of the seasons where the best player won,” Carty said.
Wilson said he had tried to become a contestant multiple times.
“I grew up in Sunday school, so when I heard the theme was, ‘David versus Goliath,’ I thought this is the season I’m supposed to be one,’” Wilson said.
Wilson, who previously worked in the public defender’s office, said he had initially become an attorney because of the money, but found it was his calling to help those in need.
“I felt like this was a calling instead of a career. I can stay in Kentucky and do what I have been called to do,” Wilson said of winning the $1 million prize.