English and Stephen King claim their cash winnings after reaching Blue Ridge, Ga., after 28 days on the run as part of the CBS reality show The Hunted. Photo courtesy of CBS

Murphy native, wife win $250K on reality show

   Greensboro – After 28 days away from his children, Murphy native Stephen King was happy to see the familiar sights of home.
    Stephen and his wife, English, won the $250,000 prize on the CBS show The Hunted by making it to Blue Ridge, Ga., without being caught after nearly a month of looking over their shoulders on the reality show adventure game.
    Stephen, a Cherokee County native and 1997 graduate of Murphy High School, and English are certainly glad now they ended up taking on the challenge an Internet description calls “the most elaborate game of hide and go seek” ever devised.
    “We were on our own little island,” Stephen said. “We chose to truly be off the grid and not use technology at all. We missed a lot of news, like the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA title.”
    Stephen gave his wife a lot of credit for keeping them on task and organized during their fugitive run.
    “She helped us avoid all the little mistakes the people make to get caught,” he said. “There are simple things, like not calling the same person from the same number. She wrote down every number and kept track of every ride we got, etc. We stayed well hidden and didn’t give them any bread crumbs.”
    English said the couple “didn’t know how close” the hunters were to them until they watched the show.
    “We saw that they were pretty close to us in Charleston (S.C.) that first night, but we were able to stay one step ahead,” she said.
    The hardest part for them was being away from their three daughters for the whole time without being able to see them or communicate with them.
    The Kings were hoping to get on another show, The Amazing Race, but they got a call back and were pitched this show instead. In The Hunted, nine teams of two try to avoid capture in a 100,000-square-mile radius.
    The show was filmed last summer, and the two possible “extraction points” on the final day of the chase were Blue Ridge and Blairsville, Ga., offering Stephen some familiarity at the end.
    Stephen said before the show aired that he hoped his daughters would take a lesson from watching it about working together to overcome adversity.
    “They got to see us working us a team in some tough moments that we had, not breaking down and not losing it,” he said.
    As for future reality shows, English said, “I think that’s the end of this adventure.”
    The couple plan to save a lot of the prize money for their daughters’ education, but they promised them a special vacation if they won.
    “We have to spoil them a little bit,” Stephen said. “They were troopers during this.”
    Fans who missed the show can catch up online at CBS.com.