The Squid Game: The Challenge winner, Mai Whelan, has at last secured her long-awaited $4.56 million prize.
As PEOPLE has verified that the immigration adjudicator has successfully obtained her groundbreaking $4.56 million reward by surpassing 455 other participants in a set of challenging trials inspired by the acclaimed Korean drama series.
Contrary to the TV personality's earlier assertion of a 10-month fund delay, it is now confirmed that Whelan was informed of a payment schedule stipulating she would receive the prize after the airing of the show's season 1 finale.
In December 2023, the television personality conveyed to The Times, “I feel like Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, show me the money!"
During that period, she mentioned to the media that she had already used a portion of her anticipated winnings to transform her appearance for the Squid Game gala, opting for a short haircut, a Ralph Lauren dress, and Jimmy Choo shoes.
“I still have buyer’s remorse from that, but I think it’s well-deserved,” she shared.
Regarding her future endeavours, the individual from Virginia shared her aspirations of discovering "a retirement home somewhere," elaborating on her plans, “We don’t know where yet, and we are happy with where we are. We live on the water. It’s very peaceful.”
Whelan secured her triumph in Squid Games: The Challenge by emerging victorious in a final round of Rock, Paper, Scissors against her fellow contender, Phill Cain.
"I don't know whether to cry or to cheer. I don't know what to do," after securing the substantial prize, she confessed to Cain.
"Today just validates that anything is possible," she said in a confessional interview, "Even when [you] feel down and afraid, you have to pick yourself up, be a strong person and focus. Whatever you fear is, fight it with everything you got, and you can accomplish anything. And I've proven that tonight. I am the winner."
Aside from her aspirations, Whelan disclosed her intention to make a positive impact with her substantial winnings, expressing this sentiment to Entertainment Tonight, "I have charitable causes I wanna contribute more to" including "sponsoring kids receiving education and helping the elderly with their basic needs and health care. And also the wildlife and the climate."