Andrew Dys

Rock Hill native - a millionaire - on TV’s Million Dollar Matchmaker

Jason Ziegler
Jason Ziegler

There are guys in this world who make women swoon. Men who are a prize catch. I am not one of them.

Jason Ziegler is.

Jason Ziegler is tall. He won’t use the word himself, but some would say he is rich. He drives to work in a Maserati.

Women at street corners stare after him. He won’t say it, but the picture does not lie. Ziegler is seemingly impossibly handsome. He is single and he will soon be on television for all of America to see. He will be on We TV’s “Million Dollar Matchmaker” Aug. 12.

The question, though, is simple: Why does this guy – who is so beautiful he should be in movies and who drives a car that costs more than my house and who is athletic and generous – need help finding a wife?

“I worked a lot,” Ziegler said. “A whole lot. For years. People I knew were finding spouses, my friends were finding wives, and I was at work.”

Ziegler was working 60-and-more-hour weeks most of the last decade in Dallas after moving from Charlotte. If it were a movie, he would have been the impossibly rakish guy who staggers into a 7-11 after dark, grabs a sandwich in a plastic tray and goes home to fall into bed to do it all over again. As the camera pans to the clerk who is not impossibly rakish, he stares at the guy and wonders why there are not chicks carrying this guy on a throne.

It seems impossible that as an infant Ziegler and his mother, who was in college, had to move in with his grandparents after his father left.

“I grew up in a brick house on Lesslie Highway,” Ziegler says about his Rock Hill roots. “Until the third grade.”

He grew into a teen who graduated from Northwestern High School and a man who graduated with a masters from Winthrop University and through hard work and drive earned, by any measure, a lot of money in banking and investments.

America will soon see it all.

Ziegler lives in Dallas where there are so many rich people they have had shows about them for decades. But still, Ziegler made a Top 10 list of the most eligible studs in Dallas a couple years ago – and a casting agent who seeks out the beautiful for TV noticed. They checked into him, he wowed the people, and everybody saw that this guy was all reality TV wants: handsome and smart and glib and single.

He rock climbs and scuba dives in the darkest caves without fear. He boxes with champions. But through it all, because he knows what it is like to be kid in the little brick house and the apartments after that, he gives back to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program in Dallas that helps kids who need somebody to look up to.

Yet he is, most importantly for this reality television show, handsome and single with a wallet that overflows.

His net has now been cast over America.

Reality TV.

Ziegler, 41, will be on television for all the world to judge. The little kid from Rock Hill will appear in August as a guy who a celebrity unifier will try to couple up with a woman. The show stars Patti Stanger, who has turned celebrity matchmaking into a television reality phenomenon but is known for her “tough love” feedback.

To do the show Ziegler had the brutal duty of spending time at a San Diego Harrah’s resort for taping. He had the awful responsibility of hanging around beautiful people for days.

Next month on the show all of that is public, because that is what reality TV is. And this show where Stanger the star dissects why someone is single. So Ziegler’s life of too much work and not finding time to get married to the right woman will be aired for millions. He had to be “broken down” on TV about why he went home to an empty house until now.

“It is hard to put yourself out there,” Ziegler said.

But Ziegler agreed to give it a shot and his TV star rose. When his episode airs, he will have a watch party in Dallas and his family in York County will all be watching to see what happens.

Because it is reality TV Ziegler can say very little, almost nothing, about what happens on the show. People have to wait for it to air.

Then Jason Ziegler can finally answer if at age 41, with his money and his Maserati, he found what matters more: a match.