Michael Anthony Loving Holloway, commonly known as Mike Holloway, is an oil driller from North Richland Hills, Texas. He is best known as the winner of the 30th season of the U.S. reality TV series Survivor.
Holloway was born July 25, 1976, in Odessa, Texas. He and his mother, Debra Loving, also lived in Abilene, before moving to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area when he was 14. As a teenager, he attended L. D. Bell High School in suburban Hurst.
Holloway's childhood was not an easy one. According to his CBS Survivor biography, he grew up without a father, and had also been both molested and teased in his youth.
In 2014, Holloway became one of 18 players selected for Survivor: Worlds Apart, the 30th season of Survivor. At the start of the game, Holloway was placed on the "Blue Collar” tribe, Escameca. Early on, he formed a close alliance with two tribe members, Kelly Remington and Dan Foley. However, Holloway began to earn the ire of other tribe members Rodney Lavoie, Jr., Lindsey Cascaddan, and Sierra Dawn Thomas when he repeatedly insisted that the tribe do more work around camp. Nevertheless, the tribe did well in challenges and Holloway was soon viewed as the leader, and in the tribe’s only immunity challenge loss, Holloway organized the elimination of Cascaddan.
When the tribes were redistributed in the fifth episode, Holloway remained on the Escameca tribe, along with Foley, Lavoie, Thomas, former White Collars Tyler Fredrickson and Joaquin Souberbielle, and former No Collar Joe Anglim. For the final challenge before the merge, Holloway decided to help his tribe throw the challenge to help protect Remington, on the other tribe; Holloway aligned with Anglim, Foley, and Thomas to eliminate Souberbielle, in a blindside which angered Souberbielle's close friend Lavoie and would eventually turn him against Holloway.
Once the merge arrived, Holloway came up with the merged tribe’s name, Merica. He then re-added Remington to his Blue Collar alliance, and also brought in former White Collars Fredrickson and Carolyn Rivera, and former No Collar Will Sims II. However, Lavoie had plans to avenge Souberbielle and began forming a sub-alliance with the intent of blindsiding Holloway in the future. Holloway later discovered this plot, and at the subsequent Survivor Auction, he held out from participating in order to have all of his money for a game advantage. Even though he had joined all of the castaways in agreeing to purchase letters from their loved ones, he sneakily reneged; but after earning the ire of his tribe-mates, he relented. Since he had bought his letter after all, he had to compete with Rivera and Foley in a lottery to earn the advantage, which Holloway lost. All this, coupled with his attempted outing of Lavoie for trying to back-stab him, resulted in Holloway's ouster from the majority alliance. He then aligned with former No Collar Jenn Brown and former White Collar Shirin Oskooi.
Ultimately, Holloway managed to avoid elimination by winning five of the last six immunity challenges; the one time he lost, he played the Hidden Immunity Idol which he had found, and successfully negated the votes cast against him, eliminating Fredrickson instead. After winning the final immunity challenge on Day 38, Holloway planned to take Rivera and Sims to the end with him, and forced a tied vote between Rivera and Lavoie, thus necessitating a fire-making challenge that Holloway prepared Rivera for earlier that day. His plan was successful, and Lavoie became the eighth and final member of the jury. Months later, on May 20, 2015, it was revealed that the jury of eight ultimately awarded Holloway the win with six votes; Lavoie voted for Sims, Thomas voted for Rivera, and the rest voted for Holloway.
With five individual immunity challenge wins, Holloway is tied with Colby Donaldson, Tom Westman, Terry Deitz, and Ozzy Lusth for the record of the most immunity challenge wins in a single season. Also, with four additional reward challenge wins, Holloway is tied with Deitz for the record of the highest amount of overall post-merge challenge wins in a single season, and he is also one of only two contestants to win five immunity challenges and still win the season, along with Westman. Holloway also set two other Survivor records, by becoming the first person to ever successfully save himself with a hidden immunity idol and still go on to win the season, and the first winner to receive only uncounted votes against him. Host Jeff Probst has since declared his belief that Holloway will "go down as one of our top winners."
On May 6, while Worlds Apart was still airing, Holloway was listed among the 32 contestants (16 men and 16 women) eligible for the public vote on who would return for the upcoming 31st season, Survivor: Cambodia. As the theme of the new season was players who had only played once and did not win, he would become ineligible if he won Worlds Apart. Holloway placed in the top 10 on the men's side and thus would have appeared in the new season, but he had to drop out when he was crowned Sole Survivor.
Holloway worked in the oil industry as a driller for ten years prior to his stint on Survivor. After winning the Sole Survivor title, he founded an online T-shirt company called Sweet T's Designs. He started this company with a friend who, along with Holloway, had dreamed of owning a business since college.