Justin Uhart, a 27-year-old loan officer and survivor of the Las Vegas shooting, won $120,000 on CNBC's "Deal or No Deal," which aired on Wednesday. Uhart's six-figure winnings are nearly double the U.S. median household income — and he knows exactly how he's going to use the money.
After eliminating several briefcases with low amounts of money, Uhart thought to himself, "Don't screw this up. Don't screw this up." And every time another low amount was knocked off the board, Uhart tried to fine-tune his strategy. "You can't practice for it," he says, "but I was trying to do the stats in my head."
When Uhart's idol, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith, came on stage, followed by his very close friend Jan Lambourne, "all my strategy went out the window," he says.
"I was just caught up in the moment. I can't believe I cried on TV. I never cry at all, so crying on TV in front of millions of people is just like, 'Ah!' It's one of those things."
Having Lambourne by his side was both an uplifting and emotional moment for Uhart. The two were forever bonded by the tragic shooting at a Las Vegas concert in 2017, which killed 59 people and injured more than 500 people, when Uhart ran into the crowd and ultimately saved Lambourne's life.
Uhart had been working as a bartender at a nearby venue when the first shots were fired that night.
"People were dying all around me, bullets were hitting everywhere. People were crying, screaming, and so I started running," he says. But he didn't make it far before he saw Lambourne, a woman visiting from Manitoba, Canada, who was injured from a bullet wound.
"I don't know what compelled me to stop. I saw the wound and I just plugged it," said Uhart, who didn't know Lambourne at the time.
Uhart and a police officer helped carry Lambourne about 70 yards to a zone where ambulances and other victims were gathered. Uhart knew from his military training that the woman could go into shock at any second.
"I started talking to Jan and keeping pressure on the wound and trying to calm her down," he says. "We started talking about her cats...just trying to get the mind off of the wound."
Uhart and Lambourne, along with a group of other injured concertgoers, were then packed into an ambulance and taken to a nearby hospital. Lambourne was rushed into surgery.
Uhart then used Lambourne's phone to call her husband, who was in Europe at the time.
"He just had all these questions: 'Where is she at? What happened? What hospital? Where was she hit?' And all I could say was, 'I don't know.' That was the worst feeling. 'I don't know. I don't know what hospital we're at. I don't know if she's going to survive. I'm really sorry,'" Uhart recalls.
Lambourne did survive. And two years later, Uhart walked onto the "Deal or No Deal" stage, where he was applauded for his actions. "That was definitely a moment I'll never ever forget," he says, adding that his ability to keep a level head helped him during the game.
Uhart ended up accepting a deal from the banker for $120,000, and he isn't bummed about not winning $1 million. "I knew I was going to be winning something, as long as I didn't just get $20 or $5, or something," he jokes.
"I'm not a greedy person. I'm thankful for the experience. I got flown completely across the country, got to stay at a great hotel in Orlando, go to Universal Studios and be on TV. I had an absolute blast," he says, "all the way across the board."
Plus, he was excited about the game itself. "Being on the show and seeing all the lights and walking through that tunnel was exhilarating. I just soaked in the moment. Bringing on Jan, my best friends and family and then Emmitt Smith. It was the experience of a lifetime."
Uhart plans to use the money to buy a home in Las Vegas, where he and his family will live, and then take an exotic vacation.
He also wants to start a CBD business. "I've got investors and sponsors, and I have my seeds," Uhart says, adding that he's done extensive research and has even met with some major attorneys.
Uhart, who hopes his story will inspire others, says that his one piece of advice for anyone who comes into a windfall: Turn that money into more money, but also, "take a certain percentage to have fun."
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Video by Helen Zhao