Justin Uhart, a 27-year-old loan officer and survivor of the Las Vegas shooting, has had his share of ups and downs the last year or so, but the latest was a big win: In the form of actual money! The hero survivor won $120,000 on CNBC’s Deal or No Deal, and he already knows the super meaningful way he’s going to spend the money — and it’s all tied back to something really intense that happened almost two years ago.
Uhart was working as a bartender in Las Vegas the night the horrific shooting occurred. “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 Jan 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 then helped to carry Lambourne to the safe zone where ambulances and other victims were gathered. “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 it’s thanks to Uhart’s quick thinking. Now, almost 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.
As for Deal or No Deal, Uhart ended up accepting a deal from the banker for $120,000, and even though he didn’t win the million dollar jackpot, he’s grateful. “I knew I was going to be winning something, as long as I didn’t just get $20 or $5, or something,” he jokes.
A karmic experience
“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.”
He also had fun playing 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 is rather humble and he says he hopes his story will inspire others, but as for that prize, he 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.”
There’s no one who has earned a bit of fun more!