Close to 11 million people likely will see Irmo native Jennifer Hopka on the CBS reality show The Amazing Race next month.
That's three times as many as would have seen her if she had made it into Playboy six years ago.
They just won't be seeing as much of her.
In 2003, the now 26-year-old Midlands Tech nursing student was flown to the Playboy Mansion in L.A. to take part in the search for the 50th Anniversary Playmate.
It was one of the best times of my life, the Dutch Fork High School graduate said during a phone interview with her Amazing Race partner and boyfriend, Preston McCamy. I made a lot of new friends, and it was an experience that so many girls, and probably guys, would love to have, and I was a part of it.
Thousands of girls were invited to compete for five top spots. Hopka posed for a centerfold picture that has never published. She does appear in the Playboy - The Ultimate Playmate Search DVD.
She was a bit unsure about the first photo shoot that earned her a spot in the competition. I didn't think I'd have the guts to do it, she admitted.
Perhaps her upcoming appearance on The Amazing Race will make her centerfold dreams come true. I keep waiting for that call, she said. I hope that happens.
- Natasha Derrick