Monday, January 21, 2002
Special to Page 2
On Jan. 10, Ethan Zohn, a former professional soccer player-turned soccer coach, won $1 million by beating 15 other contestants in "Survivor Africa." Originally from Lexington, Mass., Zohn -- who now lives in New York City -- has been swamped with calls from the media begging to ask him the same stupid questions over and over again.
Zohn answered Page 2's Darren Rovell's request for 10 Burning Questions, but only after he promised Zohn that he wouldn't ask him one question that he'd been asked over the last two weeks.
1.Page 2: How many ex-girlfriends have contacted you since you won?Ethan Zohn: Four.
Have any asked to get back together with you again?Zohn: No. But they're all claiming a little piece of me. One girl now likes to say that she lost her virginity to me.
Did she?Zohn: Yes.
Zohn and fellow finalist Kim Johnson
2.When will you get the $1 million?Zohn: I got the check the next morning. It was one check, two commas and a lot of zeros.
Did you deposit it right away?Zohn: No. I cashed it at one of those money exchange places in New York City.
Just kidding. Actually, I had about 10 hours of interviews after I got it, so I gave it to someone at CBS. When it was time to go, she was asleep with the check shoved in her sock. It was all wrinkled, but it was still good when I deposited it.
3.You've been an assistant coach for the Fairleigh Dickinson University men's and women's soccer teams since 1998. How much did they pay you?Zohn: Not a lot. It was actually bordering on poverty. I spent more money going over the George Washington Bridge (to get from New York City to Teaneck, N.J.) than I made at FDU.
We read somewhere that attendance at FDU soccer games increased in the fall, thanks to "Survivor" fans wanting to see you. True?
Zohn: No. No one wants to go to Teaneck, N.J. But every time we'd play
someone, you'd kind of hear the buzz from the other team and the crowd. "Oh, that's the 'Survivor' guy."
Did that help you win any games?Zohn: Well, we made the final eight in the (men's Division I NCAA) tournament, but I don't think anyone let us win.
4.You went on "Survivor" because you got a full-time job and then were fired the night before you were to start. Has the company expressed any interest in hiring you back, based on your "Survivor" skills?Zohn: No, but I did get an e-mail from the person who hired and fired me.
I'll read you the note. "Ethan, congratulations. You showed me and everyone at Landor that you have integrity; you handled what Landor did to you better than anyone could have imagined or expected. A lesser man (myself included) would have probably sued. Last night, you showed the world that you have integrity. You stayed honest with yourself and your tribe, stabbed no backs, played fair and won ...."
5.It seems like a bunch of "Survivor" girls might pose in Playboy? Would you pose for Playgirl?Zohn: No. But I'll be the first in line to get that issue. I've only seen them in bikinis.
6.What would you rather do: Win "Survivor" or play in one game in the World Cup?Zohn: The World Cup, because soccer is my life, my passion, and I've trained my entire life to get to that point. When I played in Zimbabwe, I played in front of 50,000 people and that was the best feeling in the world. I wouldn't take any amount of money to give up that dream.
7.It was reported that you nearly fainted when you overindulged in Rice Krispies Treats when you got home. True?
Zohn: No. I was being sarcastic and everyone seemingly took it seriously. I did eat a lot, though. I got home on Aug. 23, and I ate from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. without stopping ... and I never got full. Buffalo wings, Rice Krispies Treats, bagels and lox. Everything I craved, I ate that night.
8.What athlete would do the best on "Survivor"?Zohn: I was thinking about Michael Jordan, but I don't know how good his real people skills are. I'd probably go with Magic Johnson because he's friendly and light-hearted, or maybe Charles Barkley because he's funny but can also be a little bit sneaky.
9.If you could invite any four people -- dead or alive -- to dinner, who would they be?Zohn: Bob Marley, my father (who passed away), Pele and Nicole Kidman.
10.The ability to fly, the strength of 100 men or the ability to be invisible ... which superpower would you choose?Zohn: The ability to fly. I could score crazy goals. And remember, if you fly high enough, you could also be invisible.