updated 09/21/2012 AT 7:00 AM ET
•originally published 09/21/2012 AT 7:50 AM ET
Ian Terry entered the Big Brother house a self-proclaimed nerd, but 75 days later he left feeling more mature – and $500,000 richer.
Terry, 21, beat out returning player – and former winner – Dan Gheesling to become the 14th winner of the CBS reality show Wednesday, with six of the seven jury members voting for him to take home the grand prize.
The morning after his victory, the Tulane University engineering student spoke to PEOPLE about his personal growth while in the house, what he plans to do with the money, and why he chose to stay loyal to Dan despite his history of betrayals.