From fighting fires in New York City to winning $1 million on the grueling reality TV show “Survivor,” Tom Westman has embraced excitement and challenge and tasted fame.But now he’s a rookie working in relative obscurity at The Hartford, sporting a suit and tie instead of a fire hat or the shark-tooth necklace he wore in his bare-chested days on “Survivor: Palau.” He’s pitching group life and disability insurance to brokers, who mostly don’t know – or care – that he skewered a shark with a machete to feed his starving “Survivor” tribe on the Pacific island of Palau.
The million dollar prize worked out to about $540,000 post-taxes. He fixed up the house, started a college fund for his three children, bought a nice grill, and then went to work in corporate America. He gets a fireman’s 20 year pension, too. He didn’t go crazy. He just created a slightly better life for his family.