Reality TV

Linda From Surviving Paradise Split Her “Life-Changing” Prize

She wanted to create a “confidence agency” for women.

'Surviving Paradise' winner Linda Okoli with Copan Combs in the Season 1 premiere, via Netflix's pre...
Courtesy of Netflix

Spoilers ahead for the Surviving Paradise Season 1 finale. Linda Okoli began Netflix’s Surviving Paradise season finale as an Outsider, but a cast vote swiftly sent her back to the villa as a finalist — with a chance to win the $200,000 grand prize.

After Linda, who’s now 30, had the chance to enjoy a bit of the luxurious Insider life with her fellow top four finishers — Lellies Santiago, Gabe Dannenbring, and Shea Foster — host Jessimae Peluso popped in to explain how “Judgement Day” would work: In two hours, the 11 previously eliminated players would cast a secret vote to choose the winner. In a six-to-four vote, split between her and Shea, Linda came out on top.

Before she could take a victory lap, though, Jessimae had one last twist to reveal. Linda had to decide whether to evenly split the $200,000 with another player of her choosing, or accept an increased $250,000 prize all for herself.

“I’ve played this game very selflessly, and I have no regrets in that,” Linda said before revealing her choice to split the money with Lellies.

Linda’s Decision, Explained

Earlier in the episode, Linda shared with Lellies, Gabe, and Shea that she “went through a lot of bullying” while growing up. “I want to use the money to just create what I call like a ‘confidence agency,’ and really just help women who feel like I used to feel,” she explained before winning.

Courtesy of Netflix

Even a “shocked” Lellies — who planned to use the winnings to help pay for her father’s surgery — immediately questioned why Linda would give up $150,000 for her. “Because why wouldn’t I do it?” she replied.

Linda gave a better explanation in a confessional, though. “The reason why I came here was to be able to give to young women,” she said. “And I can start right here by empowering the girl who I started this journey with. So you know, if I can help her and her dad in any way, I’m more than willing to do that.”

Linda’s Life Now

Surviving Paradise filming wrapped in summer 2022, and Linda’s Instagram bio credits her as a radio personality. She also touts her Juris Doctor degree and Nigerian heritage.

In addition to working as a digital content creator, Linda’s LinkedIn lists her current job as an on-air personality for Houston’s KTSU 90.9 FM, where she says she curates weekly entertainment news segments on the Sports Talk with Devan Wade podcast.

In June 2022, Linda wrote on Instagram that the “past few months have been emotional, busy, life changing and everything in between.” While celebrating her 29th birthday last September, she also noted that the past year was “truly the best year of my life thus far.”

Though Linda has yet to offer an update on how she’s used her prize money, she could “finallyyy” announce her Surviving Paradise casting on Sept. 20.

“From tears, to laughter, to all the teaaaa in between — get ready for a journey that you definitely wouldn’t expect, but don’t want to miss!” Linda teased. “So clear the schedule, grab some wine, and get ready for October 20th, because we’re unlocking a lot more than looks in Paradise, baby!”