The Challenge Season 1? (SPOILERS)

WARNING! This article contains spoilers for Squid Game: The Challenge season 1 finale!




  • One player emerged as the winner of Squid Game: The Challenge, securing the $4.56 million grand prize.
  • The final elimination began with a twisted feast where Phil Cain was eliminated after choosing the wrong button.
  • The ultimate test was a game of Rock, Paper Scissors between Mai and Sam, with Mai ultimately unlocking a safe to claim victory.

Squid Game: The Challenge has been a test of mental endurance, physical strength, and social skill that has soared to new heights with each batch of episodes dropping on Netflix – but who won the game? While the series began with 456 players all hoping to take home the $4.56 million prize, only one could bring home the cash for themselves. After a series of grueling challenges that left only 3 players competing, Squid Game: The Challenge season 1 crowned its winner, awarding the biggest grand prize in Netflix reality TV history. The final stretch of competition was the toughest to navigate, leaving the finalists anxious to reach the end.

Based on the Netflix hit and awards-show darling Squid Game, the reality competition series borrowed inspiration from the South Korean drama series. After its premiere in 2021, Squid Game became one of the most intensely watched and discussed programs of the year. With a massive viewership, many felt that they had what it took to compete in the game themselves. After tweaking some of the major details and removing the element of imminent death, a revamped Squid Game: The Challenge invited their own competitors to try their hand at the game and prove they could be the last player standing.


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Mai Whelan Won Squid Game: The Challenge Season 1

close up of Mai squid game: the challenge talking

After a grueling battle between player 287, Mai Whelan, player 016, Sam Lantz, and player 451, Phil Cain, the winner of Squid Game: The Challenge was revealed. After a tremendous battle and backlash from the rest of the cast, Mai took home the $4.56 million grand prize. Battling it out in the end with Phil after Sam’s elimination, Mai was able to secure the key that opened the door to the prize, a gold card containing an enormous sum of money. Shown in complete shock, Mai and Phil celebrated her win with tears before a montage of the players returning to normal life ended Squid Game: The Challenge season 1.

A Twisted Feast Saw Phil Cain Eliminated From Squid Game: The Challenge

The finale of Squid Game: The Challenge season 1 began with a feast for the three finalists, which turned into a game that would eliminate one final player. Each player had to push a button ending in one of three results. If the button turned gray, the player faced no consequence. If the button turned red, the player was eliminated immediately. If the button turned green, the player would be able to choose who to bring with them to the final competition. Mai went first, choosing a button that turned gray when pressed. Sam chose to go next, sadly choosing a button that turned red. He was eliminated immediately.

Rock, Paper, Scissors Was The Final Test Of Squid Game: The Challenge

Image of players Sam (016), Phill (451), Mai (287) from Squid Game: The Challenge

The final game of Squid Game: The Challenge was a classic game of Rock, Paper Scissors played between Mai and Sam. The competitors faced off each round, and the winner got to choose a key to a safe that would unlock and provide them the grand prize. If the key didn’t open the safe, the players would play another round. Whoever chose the key that unlocked the safe would be the winner of Squid Game: The Challenge. Mai and Sam went four rounds, with Mai winning the first, Sam winning the second and third, and Mai winning the fourth, where she unlocked the safe and won Squid Game: The Challenge.


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