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“50 dates in 50 states” bachelor comes to Park City

The TikTok Bachelor Matthew Wurnig on a date in South Carolina. He is filming season two of his series, "50 Dates 50 States", and is currently in Park City.
50 Dates 50 States
The TikTok Bachelor Matthew Wurnig on a date in South Carolina. He is filming season two of his series, "50 Dates 50 States," and is in Park City this week.

A 25-year-old TikTok star who is crisscrossing the country to go on a date in every state has arrived in Park City.

Montana native Matthew Wurnig woke up one day during the COVID-19 lockdown and had an a-ha moment. He wanted to connect with people during a very isolating time. He went on the dating app Tinder and realized he could go on virtual dates all over the country.

He posted highlights of his interactions on TikTok, and what was a quarantine whim turned into a viral sensation.

He accumulated millions of views and 100,000 followers who all wanted to know what was next. So, when quarantine was over, he shrink-wrapped his F150 truck with the “50 dates 50 states” logo and took his show on the road.

Through sponsorship, advertising, and merchandise, Wurnig made enough money to keep his idea afloat and completed the first season. Now, with Season 2 underway, he is in the driver’s seat of his newly wrapped Dodge Challenger, with over 460,000 TikTok followers, surpassing 21 million likes and164 million hashtag views.

Currently, Wurnig is visiting Utah - his 38th state for his 38th date. He and his date plan to visit Park City.

“Her name's Mallory. And we're going to be kind of splitting our time between both Park City and Salt Lake there. And so we have some ideas just kind of floating around up in the air right now. But we're chatting a little more specifically today, getting those details lined out. But I know some things that we had in mind. She had mentioned that there's some cool hikes in the Park City area, which I would love to experience. And there's this place where you can go on a big zip line. So we thought those would be really cool. And checking out some brewery spots.”

Wurnig chooses the dates from a pool of women who submit applications on his website. He says he chooses a lot of the dates by what applicants suggest for date activities. He looks for creative ideas for things to do and fun and outgoing personalities.

He never knows what kind of connection might happen.

“Yeah, you know, um, there's definitely some where we connect really well. And, and, but at the end of the day, you know, we go on one date, but you could sometimes feel some sort of connection with that. And so it does make it weird to, to leave and just be like, Okay, well, you know, maybe I'll see you at the end type thing, but it's, but yeah, it's definitely interesting. And some of them, we do connect really well. And it is harder to, to leave than others.”

Wurnig is known as The TikTok Bachelor and like the hit series, he will choose one date as the winner at the end of the season. Depending on who he chooses, they will go on an all-expenses paid vacation to Puerto Rico. The top 10 finalists, who Wurnig also chooses, will win a trip to Miami.

Beyond the adventures, which have included everything from visiting national parks to axe-throwing to cooking classes, Wurnig has seen a side to humanity that he wasn’t expecting.

“I think something that surprised me is that we're all we're all really not so different. Yeah, we all have our different professions and different tastes and music and different careers and different cars we drive and all that stuff. But at the end of the day, you know, me and you, we like to, we like to sit down have a good meal, we like to watch a good movie, we like to smile, we like to laugh, we like to share a good drink, you know, and, and I think a lot of those simple, simple things are kind of overlooked by, you know, all of our opinions sometimes, or stuff like that. But at the end of the day we’re all really not so different.”

Wurnig finishes season two this summer. His 50th date will be in Hawaii.