'Squid Game: The Challenge' Just Revealed Its First-Ever Winner

squid game the challenge episode 105 of squid game the challenge cr courtesy of netflix 2023
'Squid Game: The Challenge' Revealed Its WinnerCourtesy of Netflix © 2023 - Netflix

This story contains spoilers for Squid Game: The Challenge.

The dystopian South Korean drama Squid Game is now a reality. On November 22, Netflix debuted Squid Game: The Challenge, a bizarre reality competition show where contestants can play the games from the popular series. It's an uncanny experience; participants fake their own deaths upon elimination, and openly cheer for a massive piggybank of cash. The allegory of Hwang Dong-hyuk's work may be lost, but the spinoff still captured audiences' attention this holiday season. According to Deadline, the premiere drew in 1.1 million households during its opening weekend.

Over the course of nine emotional episodes, the playing field of 456 competitors—all vying for a $4.56 million prize—shrunk to just three finalists. As the December 6 season finale, we finally know the the identity of the lucky winner. Again, folks: turn back now if you haven't watched Episode 10 of The Challenge quite yet.

Still here? OK, then. In The Challenge's grand conclusion, we catch up with the final three players in the competition: Mai (Player 287), Phill (451), and Sam (016). They sit down for a steak dinner, but of course, there's a twist. They're presented with three buttons, all with varying consequences. So, with the simple press of a button, Sam exits the competition.

Next up? A not-so-friendly game of rock, paper, scissors. Emerge victorious from a round and you draw from a box of keys—one of which opens the winning safe. Eventually, Mai, the 55-year-old immigration adjudicator, pulls the winning key. The extremely cunning player, grandmother, and Navy veteran—who left a war-torn Vietnam when she was just eight years old—won the first season of The Challenge.

We don't hear too much from Mai from that point on. The episode's closing moments show a montage of several players who've returned to the real world, including Trey, Leann, TJ, and yes, Mai. She sticks her credit card in an ATM and sees a cool $4.56 million waiting for her. Cheers to you, Mai.

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