Couple pays for vacation with thousands of dollars won from losing weight

PHOTO: Brooke and Mat Everhart lost more than 100 pounds combined.PlayBrooke Everhart
WATCH Couple makes thousands of dollars from losing weight

Brooke and Mat Everhart won more than $4,000 for losing a combined 122 pounds.

The High Point, North Carolina, couple tried for several months to lose weight in 2016, motivated to show their daughter, now 6, healthier lifestyle habits.

PHOTO: Mat and Brooke Everhart are photographed with their daughter before the couple lost more than 100 pounds combined.Brooke Everhart
Mat and Brooke Everhart are photographed with their daughter before the couple lost more than 100 pounds combined.

“We played around with a few different diets and all the things you are told to do, like walking more, and nothing was working for us,” Mat Everhart, 37, told ABC News. “We were both really frustrated.”

After Brooke Everhart, a nurse, saw a co-worker lose weight and get a check in the mail, she and her husband decided to try HealthyWage, a website and app that allows you to bet on your own weight loss.

PHOTO: Brooke Everhart, of High Point, North Carolina, lost 50 pounds in nine months.Courtesy Brooke Everhart
Brooke Everhart, of High Point, North Carolina, lost 50 pounds in nine months.

Mat Everhart bet he would lose 72 pounds in nine months -- to get back to his wedding weight -- and committed to paying $100 each month.

Brooke Everhart bet she would lose 50 pounds in nine months and committed to paying $50 each month.

PHOTO: Mat Everhart, of High Point, North Carolina, lost more than 70 pounds in nine monthsCourtesy Mat Everhart
Mat Everhart, of High Point, North Carolina, lost more than 70 pounds in nine months

“This thing was sort of the catalyst for us,” Mat Everhart said. “It literally made us put our money where our mouth was and find a way to motivate yourself because there was a tangible motivation.”

HealthyWage -- one among several diet and exercise apps that use money as an incentive -- says its users have lost over one million pounds and won over $10 million in cash prizes since 2009, when the company was founded.

PHOTO: HealthyWage users can win money for losing weight.HealthyWage
HealthyWage users can win money for losing weight.

Its most popular program, HealthyWager, leaves it up to the user to decide how many pounds they want to lose, in what time period and how much money they want to invest.

The company has found that spouses have the most success when losing weight together, HealthyWage co-founder David Rodenberry told ABC News.

“We have team challenges and they can be co-workers or strangers or spouses,” he said. “We’ve found when you participate with a spouse in a team challenge your average weight loss is 25 percent greater.”

The Everharts said they motivated each other to stick to their weight loss plan. They were also motivated together by the money withdrawn monthly from their bank account by HealthyWage.

"The motivation of doing something where there is actual money on the line is really like no other," Brooke Everhart said. "You have a hard, fast goal that you have to meet by a certain date so there really is no wiggle room."

PHOTO: Brooke and Mat Everhart lost more than 100 pounds combined.Brooke Everhart
Brooke and Mat Everhart lost more than 100 pounds combined.

The Everharts began to meal-prep together and joined a fitness center. They would rotate care for their daughter so the other partner could workout or they would workout as a family in the evening instead of eating dinner and watching TV at home.

“We both lost a lot of weight fairly quickly,” Mat Everhart said. “After three to four weeks it slowed down dramatically, but the money kept coming out. It kept us on it when we were only losing a pound or two a week."

At the end of nine months, the couple lost more weight than they wagered. Mat Everhart won $2,952 while Brooke Everhart won $1,506.

Their net profit was around $3,300, according to Mat Everhart.

PHOTO: Brooke and Mat Everhart are photographed on vacation in the U.S. Virgin Islands.Brooke Everhart
Brooke and Mat Everhart are photographed on vacation in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Everharts debuted their new bodies on a trip to the Virgin Islands with family members, and used their winnings to spend an extra week there as a second honeymoon.

“We could lay on the beach and not feel conscious and rent kayaks and have a great time in the ocean without feeling like we were going to die,” Mat Everhart said. “It allowed us to really have the best vacation of our lives, and hopefully the first of many to come.”

The Everharts said they have continued to lose weight and exercise after completing their bets and have noticed the biggest change in their family dynamic.

"One of the most rewarding aspects of this for me not just feeling that I got a new body and lifestyle, but that our family has evolved," Mat Everhart said. "We're now the active family that goes and does things together instead of watching things together."

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