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Netflix Squid Game reality show winner finally receives historic payout
Featured Image Credit: Netflix / Instagram/@iammai287

Netflix Squid Game reality show winner finally receives historic payout

Mai Whelan had to wait 10 months for the payment

Mai Whelan is officially a multimillionaire.

Whelan was one of 456 contestants to take part in Squid Game: The Challenge, a real-life version of the hugely popular Korean drama.

The immigration adjudicator won a whopping $4.56 million by defeating her fellow hopefuls, but it took a while for the money to land in her bank account.

Whelan won the show almost a year ago in February 2023, with the finale not airing on Netflix until December 6.

Speaking to The Times last month, Whelan revealed that she was yet to receive a dime of her winnings and compared herself to Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire.

It has since been reported that 55-year-old has now received her money and was always aware that there would be a slight delay in her getting the cash.

A source told PEOPLE that Whelan knew about the payment plan and that she would get her jackpot once the finale had aired.

As to what she wants to do with her money, Whelan shared that she will be donating some of it to charitable causes.

"I have charitable causes I wanna contribute more to," she told Entertainment Tonight.

Mai Whelan took home the multimillion dollar jackpot.

The Squid Game winner went on to express her hopes of 'sponsoring kids receiving education and helping the elderly with their basic needs and health care', as well as 'the wildlife and the climate'.

"I think those are very important to how we see the world so that way we can live in it and enjoy it for everybody, not just us at the present moment," Whelan added.

While Whelan ended up very rich by appearing on Squid Game, other contestants went home with nothing.

Revealing all, Radhika Srinivasan - AKA Player 352 - said they were paid 'zero' to star on the show.

"It was all or nothing," Srinivasan said, referring to the prize money.

"We were really in there acting like that for nothing, because the stakes were so high. It was $4.56 million."

Squid Game: The Challenge saw 456 contestants take part for the cash prize.

The production company did pay for everyone's transport to the Squid Game filming sight in London, UK, however. This included flights from overseas.

While she left the programme penniless, Srinivasan insisted that she would 'not take it back for the world'.

If you were hoping to give Squid Game: The Challenge a try yourself, you'll be pleased to know the show has been renewed for a second season.

Netflix is currently casting for the new series and, if you think you've got what it takes, you can apply here.

Topics: Netflix, Film and TV, Squid Game, Money