Feature image via Network Ten/Nigel Wright
Last night’s Australian Survivor finale saw Pia Miranda claim the Sole Survivor title, along with the $500,000 prize. It was an emotional episode, with both Miranda and fellow contestant Baden Gilbert pitching their games to the jury in the hopes of securing the title.
Recently eliminated Luke Toki sat in the jury, grin on his face, at this point unaware of the fundraising effort that would later be set up in a bid to assist his young family.
Toki first appeared in the 2017 season of Australian Survivor, soon winning the hearts of audiences as the cheeky, self-proclaimed ‘King of the Jungle’.
He returned this year in the hopes of claiming not only the Sole Survivor crown, but the prize money to give his family a better life.
Toki and wife Mary are parents to three young children. Their two boys are on the autism spectrum, and daughter Madeline, who is less than a year old, has cystic fibrosis.
Since Toki’s elimination, more than 20 GoFundMe pages have been set up for fans and well-wishers to donate. Survivor super-fan Dave Skow’s page has gained the most momentum, having now surpassed its $500,000 goal.
“A few people have asked if we will keep the page open once the target is reached, and the answer is absolutely,” writes Skow. “The Tokis have a challenging road ahead so limiting the amount we can raise is certainly not on the agenda. If we smash $500k, we will strive for $600k, then $700k and so on until this crazy ride comes to a natural end.”
Took took to social media to express his gratitude for the outpouring of support.
“These are the guys everyone has donated to,” he writes, to accompany an image of his sons. “I could sleep on the sand with no food for days on end and still be okay.”
Following the huge success of Australian Survivor: Champions V Contenders, Network 10 is set to Outwit, Outplay, Outlast once again when the game’s ultimate players make their comeback on Australian Survivor: All Stars in 2020.