updated 02/04/2014 AT 6:00 PM ET
•originally published 02/04/2014 AT 11:05 PM ET
On The Biggest Loser, when you lose, you win. You win big.
With a $250,000 prize at stake, three very different contestants stepped up to the scale on Tuesday night’s finale to see if they had lost what it would take to win the grand prize and the title of The Biggest Loser.
In a season that celebrated second chances, finalist Bobby Saleem, 28, epitomized the theme of the 15th edition of the NBC weight-loss competition. Saleem – whose struggles with his sexuality inspired his trainer Bob Harper to make his own public declaration – had been eliminated in week nine, but the attorney from Chicago earned a spot in the top eight as the biggest at-home loser of all the eliminated contestants up to that point in the season. This pool of contestants included American Idol’s Ruben Studdard, who had already returned once earlier in the season amid controversy.
Weighing in against Saleem was Rachel Frederickson, a 24-year-old voice-over artist from Los Angeles, and David Brown, a 42-year-old project manager from Edmond, Okla.
So who finally emerged victorious?
While all three finalists boasted impressive weight loss on the scale, it was Rachel who shed the highest percentage of body weight, having dropped 155 lbs. to end the season at 105 lbs. and nab the title of The Biggest Loser!
“I was shocked,” Rachel told PEOPLE backstage shortly after being named season 15 champ. “I came here to gain back my life, and I did exactly that. I’ve found that proud, confident girl that has so much respect for herself.”
Winning the at-home prize after being sent home from the ranch was Tumi Oguntala, a 41-year-old brand strategist from Clifton Park, N.Y., who successfully lost a total of 175 lbs. to stand on the scale Tuesday weighing 144 lbs.
“I began this journey an obese woman, and I’m standing here happy and healthy,” Tumi told PEOPLE. “I couldn’t believe it. I just started crying.”