Proud of East Texas: Survivor Jake Billingsley - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Proud of East Texas: Survivor Jake Billingsley

By Joan Hallmark

Jake Billingsley loves challenges, whether it's high powered real estate deals or hunting grizzley bears with a bow and arrow. So it's no wonder that Billingsley was picked to be on the television show "Survivor".

Billingsley was sixty, oldest of a group selected for "2002 Survivor Thailand."

The physical challenges of scarce food, 115 degree temperatures, and physical exertion didn't compare, Billingsley says, to the challenge of integrity. Faced with the possibility of winning a million dollars was not easy for some, but Bilingsley, who reached the final five, is proud that his integrity was not compromised.

Billingsley's wife Jeni was offered a challenge of her own when she was brought to Thailand and competed for the prize of winning 24 hours with Jake.

After consuming a water bug, three live grubs, and a tarantula, she lost the last round because, as she says, she just couldn't get all the scorpion's legs down.

Jake and Sheri Billingsley live on Hideaway Lake in Smith County. He has written a book "Shaping My Hat", does motivational speaking, and his photography is available on note cards at "The Flying Fish Gallery" in Ben Wheeler. More on Jake at

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