CLARION-LEDGER, MISSISSIPPI, TELEVISION
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Big as a House? Yep! Mississippian named The Biggest Loser

ef772-bildeMississippi native Patrick House is The Biggest Loser.

The Delta State University business graduate and Brandon native won the NBC reality weight loss competition Tuesday night and the $250,000 grand prize.

In the final moments of the show, House’s weigh-in revealed he has lost 181 pounds, or 45.3 percent of his original weight of 400.

He beat finalist Frado Dinten, 43, of New York, who lost 162 pounds, or a 44.1 percent total weight loss, and Ada Wong, 27, of San Francisco who lost 99 pounds, or a 38.37 percent total weight loss.

“Winning this for me gets me back freedom,” he said.

The Clarion-Ledger corresponded by e-mail Tuesday with House before the winner was announced.

“I have made a change that will affect my future and my family’s future forever,” he said. “I have gotten my life back, and that is priceless. There is no way to place a monetary value on having more time with your family. Honestly, my friends and family have watched a miracle performed and seen prayers answered. That is how much this means to me.”

Winning, he said, means he will be able to pay off his debts.

But he said, “If there were no winner in this competition, it would still be an amazing experience. I now know what I have to do to stay healthy – so prize money or no prize money – I feel like I have made a huge change in my life, and I will never be going back to my former self.”

House said he also has a few words for Mississippians.

“I hope I have made you proud,” he said. “I started The Biggest Loser with the thoughts of not wanting to have Mississippi come in last in yet another category. I wanted to show the country that Mississippi is a state that has fighters and people who want to make a difference.”

He said, “You can accomplish anything you set your mind to.”

“Obesity is a major problem in Mississippi and all across the country,” he said, “but if you stand up and make a difference, we can beat obesity. I am not a superhuman. Everyone else in Mississippi that is overweight can do exactly what I have done. It is not an easy journey, but it is one that you can accomplish.”

House will soon launch biggestloserpatrick.com, and he is starting The Patrick House Foundation.

“The project we are working with at the foundation is Mindstream Academy, www.mindstreamacademy.net,” he said.

The South Carolina school specializing in helping overweight teens is set to open January of 2011.

It will offer $5,000 scholarships to any student nationwide age 13-19 who enrolls in the school in January of 2011.

Mark Pinhasovich, a 31-year-old bartender and recruiter from New Brunswick, N. J., who started the competition weighing more than 400 pounds, won the $100,000 at-home prize for the eliminated contestants who were weighed on the finale. He needed to lose 198 pounds to win and lost 213.

Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.

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