After 71 days of emotional and physical challenges, Dan Gheesling, a catholic school teacher from Dearborn, Mich., walked away with Big Brother 10‘s grand prize of $500,000 in a unanimous 7-0 vote.
The other half of his "Renegades" alliance Memphis Garrett walked away with $50,000, while Dan’s best pal Keesha Smith won the $25,000 prize of America’s Favorite Juror.
The morning after Dan’s win, he got to chatting with OK!‘s resident BB expert, Rana Meyer.
Congratulations on the big win?
What big win? (laughs)
Have you slept yet?
I tried to go to sleep last night. My body was tired, but my mind would not shut off. I did get no kind of sleep last night.
How does it feel to have won?
It’s awesome. I’ve been a huge fan of the show, and back in season two when I saw everything go down I thought maybe I could get this done. And having the title of Big Brother winner is almost worth more than the money to me. I’ve been such a huge fan of the show and just to be able to compete in this game was a dream come true.
Why did you decide in week four to align with Memphis?
Going into that week four, they brought me into that huge alliance of 7. I knew it wouldn’t last long with April and Keesha at each other’s throats. I had a chance to spinoff. Instead of being number 7 in a group of 7, I could be number 4 or number 5 in a totally new group. It’s like moving up the ladder and in doing so it gave me opportunities. If I was going to keep Memphis in the house, why not get an alliance with him? Get something more out of this deal than just keeping someone in. That was the week that we created the Renegades. Look where that got us, so it was a pretty good move looking back at it.
Were you surprised that Keesha won favorite juror?
No. I was hoping she’d win. She has such a good heart and I was hoping America saw that. She has great values, and she’s such a good person. She stands up for what she believes in and just very likeable.
Who did you not want to win?
(Laughs) Let’s just say that I wanted Keesha to win and I was hoping America would come through. (Laughs)
Who was the hardest to live with?
I’d probably say Jerry. I love my grandparents to death, but I’d never live with them. They get on your nerves.
Are you going to keep in touch with anyone?
Pretty much everyone. That’s one thing that I think separated me from other people in the house. I really enjoyed everyone in a different light. People have even said how can you like Jerry after he called you a "Judas." Jerry is a 75-year-old man and he offered me a lot of personal advice, and we shared some good times in the house. Brian has been talking to my sister. I think they went out on a date, so I think I will be in touch with him more than other people. There’s a little gossip for you.
How did you not go off when he called you a Judas?
In this game, I was attacked personally a lot of times. It was just like water rolling off of my back. I knew anytime that two people got into a fight in the house, one of those people would leave. I never wanted to be one of those people, so I always kept the half-million dollars in the back of my mind. I said if I can stay out of these fights, if I can hold my tongue, I might have a chance to win. Being a schoolteacher, I had my kids watching me. Yeah, I had to lie and do all that kind of stuff, but I could control my temper and my anger. If I could do that, I could win. That’s what I prided myself on from day one, controling my emotions in the house. I think that gave me an advantage in the end.
Is there a proposal to your girlfriend Monica coming?
There’s definitely a ring coming in the near future. I’m not sure when. We have to sit down and talk about it. I think it’s in the near future.
What else will you be doing with the money?
I will definitely be helping my mom with the mortgage. And make some smart investments. I don’t plan on leaving St. Mary’s anytime soon. Prior to winning this money, I was going to have to leave to find a better paying teaching job. But hopefully with this money I can make some smart investments and never have to leave the job that I love. I love teaching and coaching football at St. Mary’s.
No plans for the L.A. lifestyle?
If there are any promotional or charity things, I could do it. I’d love to do that, but you won’t see me moving out and living next to Memphis and trying to be a mixologist or actor any time soon.
Will you have a Renegades business?
Maybe we’ll have a Renegade t-shirt or clothing line. I don’t know. Memphis is the fashion guru. If we can turn the Renegades into a business, that would be a great business venture. I’d love to help Memphis out in any way I could and vice versa.
Will you and Memphis go on The Amazing Race together?
If The Amazing Race came up, it would be hard for the Renegades to turn down. Who knows maybe the Renegades could win two reality shows, you never know.
One last question, how did you put up with the boredom?
I never really got bored. I spent maybe over 1,000 hours in the pool. You have the run of a backyard and you have no responsibility. I didn’t have to go grocery shopping bbecause Big Brother would always give us food. Renny would always cook. All I had to do was wake up, go outside in the pool and not get voted out. It was a lot of fun this summer. (Laughs)