cnbcwinner_7-28.JPGEdward Burke can thank CNBC and some new rules for taking home a half million dollars today.

Burke, a 54-year-old jazz musician from Shippensburg, PA, won the 2008 CNBC.com Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge. The announcement was made on Power Lunch this afternoon, and Burke received his check from CNBC anchor Brian Schactman.

Burke is a cancer survivor, and received stem cells from his brother Paul, who he thanked on air, in the late 1990s.

His strategy was to take advantage of currency trading, new this year in the CNBC Challenge. He made 700 currency trades in four days at one point. He would wake up at 4amET every day to watch CNBC’s Worldwide Exchange to get a jump start on the global markets.

Last year, the network launched an investigation into the trading of some of its finalists, although no violations were found.

More than 254,000 contestants participated in this year’s contest.