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Survivor 44’s Carson Garrett Accused of Profiting from Other Company’s Ideas and Business Plan

Survivor 44 contestant and fourth-place finisher Carson Garrett was best known going into the season as the NASA intern who prepped for the show by practicing on 3D-printed puzzles often used in competitions.

The show presented the puzzles as having been 3D-printed by Garrett, but several sellers on Etsy have claimed he merely purchased them online.

A company called Outplay Puzzles is now accusing Garrett of stealing their puzzles and marketing ideas for his own business. Outplay Puzzles posted a lengthy thread via X in which they say they met with Garrett, 22, for coffee and Garrett later used “almost every marketing tactic” he suggested to sell his own puzzles. Garrett launched his puzzle company, Puzzlenaut, in December 2023.

“If you [still don’t] know the full story of Carson and I, I’m going to share it one more time,” the thread began. “I just can’t get past the hurt he put my business and myself [through].”

Outplay then explained that they were initially excited to see one of their puzzles featured in a Survivor 44 segment that showed Garrett’s prep.

When the season ended, Outplay claimed they reached out to Garrett to discuss a paid partnership as a thank-you for boosting the company’s sales by showing the puzzles on Survivor.

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“We met for coffee, I gave him free products to promote in his content, and we discussed payment,” the thread continued. “Over the course of an hour he asked tons of questions about how I run and promote my business, how to promote my puzzles, etc. I answered honestly because I thought he was a friend.”

Feature Survivor 44 Carson Garrett Accused of Stealing Friend Puzzle Ideas
Robert Voets/CBS

Outplay alleged that Garrett launched Puzzlenaut one month after their coffee meeting, “selling two of my most popular puzzles (a question he made sure to ask at lunch).” When Outplay tried to congratulate him “and ask about how this affected our partnership,” they discovered that Garrett had blocked them on social media.

“During his launch he used almost every marketing tactic I mentioned in that meeting, full campaigns I designed for my store that he’s now taken for free,” Outplay claimed. “He did an insta live with @carolynwiger to specifically say how much she hated the puzzles I sent to her for free earlier.”

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Carolyn Wiger competed alongside Garrett on Survivor 44 as part of the “Tika Three” alliance. She placed third.

Wiger replied to Outplay’s thread in defense of Garrett, posting, ”I’m sorry but you have no idea how hard Carson works. Are you kidding me? You go online demonizing him! It’s none of your business how he runs his business! He’s not copying your puzzles!! These are all puzzles inspired by a show that we love!”

Outplay is not alleging any illegal activity on Garrett’s part but noted the allegedly “unethical practices and the deceptive way in which he got the literal handbook on how to run a business like mine.”

Us Weekly has reached out to Outplay Puzzles and Garrett for comment.

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