February 21, 2024

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Squid Game: The challenge crowns the first winner

Squid Game: The challenge crowns the first winner
  • Written by Riah Collins and Andrew Rogers
  • BBC Newsbeat

Image source, Getty Images

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Finalists Sam Wells (Player 016), May Whelan (Player 287) and Phil Caine (Player 451) were the last competitors standing

The winner of Netflix’s Squid Game: The Challenge has been revealed, after the reality show saw 456 people compete for a huge cash prize.

Warning: This article contains spoilers from the show’s finale

Inspired by the Korean dystopian show Squid Game, competitors had to take part in memorable challenges from the series.

The winner’s prize of $4.56 million (£3.66 million) is believed to be the largest cash prize in reality TV history.

Challenges included in the series included Green Light and Red Light where players had to run to cross a line while a giant puppet sings to a girl – and when the singing stops, they must also “kill” or risk doing so.

In the initial series, the characters would be shot, but in the live-action spin-off version, a radio-controlled explosive dye was used to eliminate the losers.

Finalists Sam Wells (Player 016), May Whelan (Player 287) and Phil Caine (Player 451) were the last competitors to qualify for the final episode, which previously aired on Netflix.

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May, 55, was one of the show’s longest-running competitors

Mai, 55, was born in Vietnam before moving to the US where she spent two decades in the Navy, changing careers to work as an immigration arbitrator before retiring.

In the end, the victor was determined by a game of rock, paper, scissors.

“All this Netflix money and they can’t think of anything better?” runner-up Phil joked.

May, who has two daughters and a granddaughter, told BBC Newsbeat that she was used to this game of chance.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is my experience,’” she says.

Although she insists her win was a fluke, Vill, who was against it, adds: “She read me like a book.”

“He’s there to test you.”

The moment Mai won, she didn’t know whether to “cheer or cry” after becoming so close to her rival.

“I told Phil I couldn’t celebrate without him,” she says.

Meditation was an essential part of getting through the difficult challenges May faced.

“I wake up early in the morning, take a shower, go for a walk around my dorm and then sit there and meditate.

“It helped me relax and kept my mind focused throughout the day,” she adds.

The reality show, which was filmed in Bedford, has been renewed for a second series by Netflix but the former is facing legal claims from some participants who want compensation for injuries they say they suffered on the show.

Claims include hypothermia and nerve damage.

“We take the best interests of our contestants seriously,” a spokesperson for the show said in a statement.

For anyone considering entering the next series, the finalists stress the importance of building relationships.

“Trust that kindness and compassion will move you forward,” Phil says. “Trust your friends and have fun with them.”

Sam adds that it’s better to “embrace the chaos” of the show.

“Don’t get too upset because it’s there to test you mentally, physically and emotionally,” he says.

Listen to Newsbeat He lives At 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays – or listen again here.

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