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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 18 February, 2003, 20:01 GMT
TV's Joe Millionaire picks his lady
Evan Marriot
Evan had to choose from 20 women
America's latest reality TV sensation Joe Millionaire has reached its climax as the show's bachelor picked his perfect partner and revealed he was not sitting on a $50m (31m) fortune.

Evan Marriott, aka Joe Millionaire, posed as a millionaire to woo 20 female contestants, finally choosing 29-year-old Zora Andrich as his dream girlfriend.

But she was in for a shock when he revealed he was not a millionaire but earned just $19,000 (11,890) as a construction worker.

The couple were rewarded for taking part in the show as they were given a cheque for $1m (625,955) to share.

I hope that no other shows like this are ever aired again
Steven Hackett

Viewers of the Fox show had been in on Marriott's "secret" from the outset but the women were kept in the dark.

The contestants were treated to the good life in France during the elimination process as the bachelor whittled the 20 contestants down to just two.

Zora beat designer Sarah to the prize, a chance to have a steady relationship with Marriott, but learned the truth about the game show.

He said: "There's been something else I'd like to say to you that's been really weighing on my nerves.

"I don't have $50m. I don't have $50,000. I'm sorry I lied to you, but I wanted to find someone who loved me for who I am, not for what I may or may not have."

Zora's reaction was to roll her eyes but she overcame the shock and turned up for their evening date, agreeing to give their relationship a try.

She later told him: "The good news is, I really was turned off by the fact that you inherited all that money."

She added: "I would like to continue the journey and see what happens."

Then Paul Hogan, the show's resident butler, surprised them both with a million-dollar cheque delivered on a silver tray, declaring "all good fairy tales must have a bit of magic".

The show has been a huge hit for Fox, helped along by a number of scandals.

Marriott was revealed to be an underwear catalogue model and runner-up Sarah admitted she had appeared in fetish movies such as Dirty Soled Dolls.



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