Australians rallied behind Survivor favourite Luke Toki, raising more than $500,000 for him. Now he’s revealed what he spent it on.
Australians rallied behind Survivor favourite Luke Toki, raising more than $500,000 for him. Now he’s revealed what he spent it on.

How Survivor star Luke spent the $500k

He may not have won the most recent season of Australian Survivor - but audience favourite Luke Toki still went home $500,000 richer thanks to a generous GoFundMe campaign started on his behalf.

The 33-year-old Perth mining technician finished fourth in the series, with actress Pia Miranda going on to win the half-million-dollar prizemoney.

But fans' love of Toki's cheeky personality - and their yearning to help the dad-of-three and wife Mary care for their three young children, who all have special needs - saw viewers open their wallets.

Luke Toki on Australian Survivor.
Luke Toki on Australian Survivor.

Nearly three months later, Toki - who asked that the GoFundMe campaign be closed after the funds raised topped the actual Australian Survivor prizemoney - has revealed that the majority of the cash has gone to paying off the mortgage on the family's home.

"I'm a homeowner now, I'm a 33-year-old homeowner," he told PerthNow today.

"It's definitely put us in a crazy new direction of where we thought we were going in life."

Toki said outside of the big mortgage payment, life has carried on as usual post-Survivor.

"Life is exactly the same, I get up at 4am I get changed, at the train station by 5, work by 6, I'm still doing the same things," he said.

"I've got a good job I'm going to hold on to probably forever."

He's also paid part of his donation forward, giving $10,000 to Perth Children's Hospital to help fight cystic fibrosis, which his youngest child Madeline has been diagnosed with.

Madeline was just six weeks old when Toki left the family to film Australian Survivor for the second time, in the hopes of winning the massive prizemoney for his family.

His eviction before the finale was perhaps the season's most devastating moment - for fans, and for Toki himself.

 

Luke Toki with his wife and three children.
Luke Toki with his wife and three children.

Speaking to news.com.au after his final episode had aired, Luke revealed he'd found it difficult even watching back his elimination months after it was filmed.

"Did they have to play that hell-depressing music too? It cuts through you like a knife! They really played it up," he said with a laugh.

Luke put on a brave face as he was eliminated from the game, hugging the tribemates responsible for booting him out and giving host Jonathan LaPaglia a smile as his torch was snuffed.

But the second he was off camera, it was a very different story.

"When I got my torch snuffed by Jono, you can see, I'm trying to hold it all together, but then as soon as I walked down that little lane, I was a mess. I was hugging the camera crew, just bawling. Even when I was sat in the chair trying to give that (post-tribal) confessional, it took me about 20 minutes to compose myself," he said.

"I was so close and I'd come so far … I thought I had it, you know?"


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