Imagine being stranded for 28 days with no one to rely on except yourself and people whom you have never met. You are without all technology and, even worse, are being hunted. For Stephen and English King, a married couple from Hillsborough, this was no imaginary situation.
Stephen and English King competed on the CBS show “Hunted,” and eventually won $250,000 by evading capture for one month. English is a clinical audiologist, and Stephen is a stay-at-home dad for their three daughters. The couple previously applied to be a pair on “The Amazing Race,” but after not being chosen to compete, they were called up and given the option to be part of “Hunted.”
Stephen and English were predicted to only go two weeks in the hunt, and were given a “5/10” rating by professional hunter Lenny DePaul, who said that “Stephen and English’s chances are slim to none, and slim’s out to lunch.”
“Other people had lots of doubt when we were going to do the show, especially because it was out of our comfort zone,” said Stephen. “But, to counter other people it motivated us to do even better and win. For us, losing was not an option, especially because we were going to be gone from our girls for 28 days. It was a mindset that we were going to do whatever it took to win. We never really knew what was going to happen, so we were so nervous about what was going to happen because we had no idea. We came into this being the underdogs, which provided us with a motivation.”
During their 28 days on the run and in the show, Stephen and English endured high levels of stress. According to the couple, it’s difficult to enjoy almost anything when you’re on the run. But it was their children that affected them the most.
“It was really really hard. It was probably the hardest decision we had to make,” said English. “It was scary knowing that we were apart from our kids, and knowing that we wouldn’t be with them for 28 days. You can prepare yourself for leaving, but it’s so hard in the moment. You know that they’re safe and they know that you’re safe, but it was still so hard to be away from them for 28 days.”
Despite all of the negativity and challenges rained down upon the Kings, they still managed to prevail.
“We knew that we had to stay away from our family and be able to drop everything and leave,” said English. “We had to get rid of all of our technology and things that we use to contact people. We had to just walk away. It was pretty scary because you don’t know your next steps. Our philosophy was that there was no way that we could be traced, and that there were no connections between people. We needed to make sure that there were no trails.”
These strategies are what led Stephen and English to their victory on “Hunted” and winning the considerable $250,000 prize, which will be going into college funds for their girls and funding a trip to Disney World for the whole family. According to the Kings, it’s important to enjoy life and the people around you. Even in a structured life, it’s important to take time out of your day to spend with family and friends.
“We are very strong people and we do not let life drag us down,” said English.