Voice Winner Todd Tilghman Says He's Going to Spend Cash Prize on Taking His 8 Kids to Disney

By Todd Tilghman

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Original article: https://people.com/music/voice-winner-todd-tilghman-spending-cash-prize-taking-8-kids-to-disney/

Newly-crowned Voice winner Todd Tilghman is making clear that the phrase "we're going to Disney World" isn't reserved just for Super Bowl champs.

Along with bragging rights and a recording contract, the 43-year-old singer's Voice win earned him a $100,000 cash prize — which he told PEOPLE he'll likely put towards going to Disney World with his eight kids since his wife, Brooke, had promised them a trip if he won.

"We're going to have to figure out this Disney thing because of my wife and her mouth," Tilghman said with a laugh.

Since the park is currently closed amid the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Tilghman said they'll have time to figure out their plans for the trip and how to spend the rest of the money.

"I don't know for sure how the trajectory of my life is going to go from here," he said. "I don't have any immediate plans to make any drastic changes tomorrow. I don't know for sure the direction my life will go in. There's a possibility that that money might pay the bills for a little while."

During Tuesday night's finale, Tilghman said he was in dad mode as he tried to prepare his kids for the possibility that he might not win.

"I was having to multitask," he said. "I wanted to try to prepare my children, like, 'Listen, we probably won't win. Remember to smile and cheer for whichever person wins because all of these people are great.' Then there's also a part of your mind that thinks, 'Hey, there's a shot. You're top three now.' I was excited at the possibility, but I also was trying to make sure that my younger kids were prepared for the moment when they announced someone else's name and just that that's a win for us still."

After host Carson Daly announced he'd won, Tilghman said he and his family had a proper celebration at their home in Meridian, Mississippi.

"We hung out with a handful of people that were here, and we ate cake," he said. "We had a victory cake someone gave us just in case. I mean, we were going to eat it either way. When you were in top five on The Voice, there really is no lose. You all win. So, we were going to eat it regardless, whatever place we came in."

Tilghman — the lead pastor at the church where he grew up — said his life has already changed.

"Inside me I feel a lot more confident," he said. "I've gone from someone no one knew, and now I've got a No. 1 song and a No. 8 song on iTunes. And that doesn't feel like my real life."

Tilghman's Voice win earned his coach, Blake Shelton, a record seventh victory. After the finale, Tilghman said they exchanged numbers.

"He told me to text him whenever I want," he said. "And hopefully, even though it may be slow as the world starts to open back up, we're going to make some plans to get together in person. I'm hoping that we can do that and take it step by step from there. My first bullet on my list of things to do after The Voice is to glean as much as I can from these people, these connections that I've made. They know the industry, and I do not. I need to learn from them."

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Todd Tilghman

Through it all, Tilghman said Shelton, 43, has been more than a coach to him.

"He's been a friend to me," he said. "We got to laugh together and share little, stupid stories about life. That's what I was hoping for when I picked him. I was hoping that if I were to make it further in the competition, that we could actually build a relationship with one another. And that's what we did."

As he gears up for what's to come, Tilghman said he's been thinking a lot about managing career and family.

"There's some people that I've gotten in contact with, they've reached out to me through this process on The Voice. They've been successful in different genres of music and they have families as well," he said. "So I'm just going to glean from them. I'm going to learn from them."

"I want to be successful in this, but not for myself," he added. "I want to be successful in this for my family, but I don't want to sacrifice my family to successful for my family. There's got to be a balance in there somewhere."