Move over, Richard Hatch. Adam Jasinski is the latest reality TV winner to allegedly use his jackpot winnings in ways that are outside the law. Last year, he won $500,000 on the CBS show Big Brother.
How would you use that kind of windfall? Well, Big Brother (the government one this time, not the network show) thinks he knows how he spent it.
Jasinski was arrested Saturday in a drug-trafficking bust after he (so the government says) tried to sell 2,000 oxycodone pills to an undercover witness. He flew from his home in Florida to Massachusetts to facilitate the transfer, and according to cops, parked in a strip mall parking lot and produced his stash from inside a sock.
If he's convicted, he'll face a $1 million fine. To pay that, he'd have to win Big Brother twice more.
Back during the writer's strike, the TV networks were scraping the bottom of the barrel for programming, and it was in that moment that CBS cast Jasinski. With mere weeks to plan a whole season, it made the decision to slap together the only run of Big Brother that didn't air over the summer.
Jasinski -- nicknamed "Baller" -- has already been the subject of unwelcome attention. During the show, he made headlines by belittling special needs kids as "retards" even as, in the outside world, he worked for the United Autism Foundation. The foundation was repulsed and emphatically distanced itself from him while he was still sealed off from contact inside the TV house. Not knowing about the flap, his fellow housemates elected the newly jobless Jasinski the winner of the season.
That ninth season of the show was a network train wreck. Maybe the haste of the production, slapped together to fill primetime slots left by the writer's strike, kept the producers from fully vetting the participants. The planned "'Til Death Do You Part" gimmick of couples playing against each other fizzled when one contestant quit the game, causing CBS to drop the subtitle midway through. Even after Jasinskii's classless comments, the show got worse. One player regularly passed out from alcohol consumption, another was rushed to the hospital after going into apparently allergy-induced convulsions, and one evening, the houseguests lapsed into a drunken group strip show that was so lewd that no one was permitted to mention it again.
It only stands to reason that the player who emerged from that wreckage and became the winner would find himself involved in some unpleasantness again. (Since that season, CBS has been a lot more careful about whom it casts for the show. The most recent winner, crowned last month, was a sweet-as-pie Southern girl who refused to so much as kiss anyone on camera.)
So there you have it: Winning a chunk of change on reality TV won't necessarily solve all your problems. You also have to change as a person.
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