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Millions of people are rooting for David Archuleta to win American Idol, but none more so than his church. Especially, it would seem, since they can expect a cut of his earnings.

A local newspaper report has revealed that when David, 17, from Murray, UT, won the Star Search TV singing contest at the age of 12 he paid the Church of the Latter-day Saints a 10 per cent "tithing" of the $100,000 prize money.

Archuleta’s grandfather, Jim, told the Deseret Morning News that when David won the prize, a reporter asked him what he was going to do with the money. The 12-year-old replied: "The first thing I’m going to do is pay my tithing."

All Mormons are expected to donate 10 per cent share of their income – known as a tithe – to the church, which it uses to pay for its activities and expenses.

Mr Archuleta added: "Since David was 8, his goal has been to achieve enough celebrity that he would be able to reach many people with the gospel message through his music," says his grandfather. "He is very LDS."

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