And “The Biggest Loser” Winner Is…

“I knew before I got there I wanted to win,” says champ John Rhode

Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011  |  Updated 11:23 PM PDT
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John Rhode won "The Biggest Loser."

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John Rhode vowed to win "The Biggest Loser," and he did it.

The 40-year-old special education teacher and football coach weighed in 220 pounds slimmer on the Season 12 “Loser” finale to score the show’s top $250,000 prize.

“Baby, I didn’t waste a single minute on the ranch,” Rhode told his wife before his final weigh in. “I will owe you a debt gratitude forever, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Rhode earlier explained that he had ballooned to 445 pounds in response to “failed businesses” and other struggles.

But he said he “knew before I got there” on the ranch that he wanted to win and tied the NBC franchise’s record for fastest person to lose 100 pounds. Rhode credited "The Biggest Loser" with giving him hope again.

"I rediscovered the ability to be successful. It didn’t happen overnight," he said.

Rhode notched a weight loss percentage of 49.44 to best one-time pro football player Antone Davis.

The former offensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons shaved 202 pounds, or 45.19 percent, from his initial 447 weigh-in.

Tattoo artist Ramon Medeiros came in third, down 154 pounds from 355 for a 43.38 weight loss percentage.

"Life is the greatest thing ever,” he said during Tuesday's two-hour finale.

Medeiros may not have won the show’s title or top prize, but he scored a priceless win in a burgeoning relationship with fellow contestant Jessica Limpert.

Television producer Jennifer Rumple won the show's $100,000 at-home prize for eliminated competitors who keep training. She lost 43.94 percent of her initial 274 pounds.

The new season of "The Biggest Loser" begins in three weeks.

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