Mai Whelan can now celebrate her well-deserved victory as she has officially received the long-anticipated payout following her triumph in Netflix’s Squid Game: The Challenge. The immigration adjudicator secured the historic prize of $4.56 million by outlasting 455 other participants in a set of demanding trials inspired by the acclaimed Korean drama series Squid Games, as confirmed by People.
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Addressing Misconceptions in Whelan’s Squid Game Prize
Contrary to Whelan’s earlier assertion of a 10-month delay in receiving the funds, it has been verified by People that Whelan was cognizant of a payment schedule indicating she would obtain her prize money after the conclusion of the show’s first-season finale.
In December 2023, Whelan likened her anticipation for her prize to a scene from Jerry Maguire, stating to The Times, “I feel like Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, show me the money!”
During that period, she shared with the outlet that she had already allocated some of her anticipated winnings for a revamped look at the Squid Game gala. This makeover included a new short haircut, a Ralph Lauren dress, and Jimmy Choo shoes.
Aspirations Beyond the Game
Sharing her post-win plans, the Virginia native expressed her desire to locate to a retirement home, mentioning that she hasn’t decided on a specific location yet but is content with her current waterfront residence, finding it to be a peaceful haven.
Whelan secured her triumph in Squid Game: The Challenge through a decisive game of Rock, Paper, Scissors against her fellow competitor Phill Cain.
Beyond her individual aspirations, Whelan disclosed her philanthropic intentions during an interview with Entertainment Tonight. Expressing her desire to make a positive impact with her prize money, she spoke about her commitment to support various charitable causes.
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Additionally, she aims to extend her support towards wildlife conservation and initiatives addressing climate concerns. The complete Season 1 of Squid Game: The Challenge is available for streaming on Netflix while recruitment for Season 2 is currently open.