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“Amazing Race” winners Cindy Chiang ’10 and Ernie Halvorsen plan to use their $1 million in winnings to launch an international organization dedicated to economic progress in the less-developed areas they visited during the contest.

Cindy Chiang and Ernie Halvorsen

Kellogg grad wins ‘The Amazing Race’

Collaborative skills gave Cindy Chiang ’10 and fiancé Ernie Halvorsen the edge in the globe-trotting marathon

By Chris Serb ’09

12/12/2011 - Covering 40,000 miles across 10 countries on four continents, Cindy Chiang ’10 and her fiancé, Ernie Halvorsen, bested 10 other teams to win the 19th installment of CBS’s The Amazing Race.

The Emmy award-winning adventure-reality show, which carries a top prize of $1 million, aired Chiang and Halvorsen’s come-from-behind victory on the final leg in Atlanta on Dec. 11. The couple successfully solved several different riddles together and completed a number of different challenges, such as learning how to land a Lear jet on a flight simulator.

Previous legs of the show took Chiang and Halvorsen from Los Angeles to Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Malawi, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Panama. Through these adventures, Chiang, a senior associate brand manager at Kraft Foods, put her Kellogg International Business major to good use.

Chiang and Halvorsen won three of The Amazing Race’s 12 legs and overcame a potentially disastrous mistake when they lost their train tickets from Cologne, Germany to Brussels, Belgium. After their victory, the couple announced plans to start an international organization dedicated to economic progress in the less-developed areas that they visited.

The nearly month-long global challenge forced teams to communicate clearly and work together as problem-solvers, which gave Chiang and Halvorsen benefits that go far beyond winning a reality competition.

“This race really was worth more than a million dollars,” Chiang said toward the end of the finale broadcast. “The race has been the best pre-marital counseling that you could ever get.”