After 80 days trapped in the Big Brother house with 13 other strangers, 27-year-old Maggie Ausburn emerged half a million dollars richer. The Las Vegas ER nurse won the cash by sticking with the Friendship alliance to the end and lying low. Her partner and pal, Eric Littman (aka Cappy), was voted out early on, but by working her strategy and the loyalty of Ivette — who brought her to the final two — Maggie took home the top prize. TVGuide.com spoke with her the day after she won to see how she's adjusting to life in the real world.
TVGuide.com: Has it sunk in yet that you've won half a million dollars?
Maggie: No, not at all. I am walking around touching people.... "Oh, humans."
TVGuide.com: What was the first thing you wanted to know when you got out?
Maggie: I wanted to know how my family was doing. And my two dogs... they are so cute.
TVGuide.com: Did the dogs miss you?
Maggie: I haven't gotten to go home yet, but of course they miss their momma.
TVGuide.com: How is your boyfriend?
Maggie: Oh, my god. Love him. Three months without a loved one [makes] you realize how much you rely on support from people. It was very difficult.
TVGuide.com: Is there a part of you that is glad this is all over?
Maggie: Yes! I'm not made for TV.
TVGuide.com: You were very quiet for so much of the game...
Maggie: I was, and that is so not me.
TVGuide.com: So is there a part of you that we didn't get to know at all?
Maggie: Oh, a huge part of me. Huge. I love to have fun. I love to speak my mind all the time.
TVGuide.com: Just like Ivette does?
Maggie: No, I wouldn't say so. Not in a bad way, but I think everyone is so different in that house. I don't think anyone is like each other.
TVGuide.com: Why did you go on Big Brother?
Maggie: I thought I was doing Eric a favor.
Maggie: [Laughs] A little.
TVGuide.com: Was there any part of you that resented Ivette for being so clingy with Eric? Like, "Hey, that's my partner!"
Maggie: No. It is so funny, I'm not like that at all. I was happy that someone saw the great sides of him that I see all the time at home. It was actually a compliment to have someone see the real Eric. I was so fine with it.
TVGuide.com: Did you go into the house with a particular strategy?
Maggie: Yeah, but that left the second I went in. I thought I was just going to be myself and tell people what I thought all the time and just have fun.
TVGuide.com: But keeping your mouth shut won you half a million dollars.
Maggie: Yeah. Apparently.
TVGuide.com: Would you ever do anything like this again?
Maggie: Um... no.
TVGuide.com: Not even for a shorter reality show?
Maggie: No. I really was meant to be an ER nurse. That is my passion. This, though, was an amazing life experience.
TVGuide.com: Did you ever study criminology or to be a cop? Was James actually on to something?
Maggie: No! But so much of what nurses do is read people. That part was easy. I have no criminology background at all. I laughed at that [suggestion].
TVGuide.com: Did you let Ivette win the first part of the HOH competition?
Maggie: We had talked about the next competition and who was going to do what, and I really wanted her to have the gold safe [prize]. We were both thinking about letting the other one have it, but I did trip. And pretty hard.
TVGuide.com: It just seemed... suspicious.
Maggie: I had five more hours in me, but... it was a circulating safe and I ran for four hours and 40 minutes.
TVGuide.com: What did you think of all the challenges?
Maggie: They were awesome; I have to give the producers credit. I have nothing to say negative about any of it. This game is by far the most complex and intriguing game that I have ever seen on TV. I can't believe what goes into it all. It is the perfect mixture of mental and physical warfare.
TVGuide.com: You were very loyal to your alliance the whole time. Will you ever befriend anyone from the other side?
Maggie: I'm not going to turn my back on any of them. If they want to be my friend, that's awesome. If they don't, then... we are all human.