Though she gained one of many largest lump sums in actuality television competitors historical past, Squid Sport: The Problem champion Mai Whelan hasn’t been in a position to benefit from the spoils of her victory simply but. In an interview with the Sunday Instances, Whelan shares that she has but to obtain her $4.56 million greenback money prize from Netflix for successful the competitors, leaving the streamer with a easy message: “Present me the cash.”
On December 6, followers watched Whelan, a 55-year-old immigration adjudicator and U.S. Navy veteran, emerge victorious in Squid Sport: The Problem’s season. She clinched her victory after beating 27-year-old-contestant Phill Cain in a recreation of “rock, paper, scissors,” incomes that big grand prize. To win what’s technically the second largest reward in actuality TV historical past—after the U.S. version of The X Issue, which gave its winner $5 million—Whelan had to conquer 455 different contestants in bodily and psychological video games throughout a two-week competitors that aired on Netflix over the course of ten episodes. However although filming wrapped in February, Whelan says she hasn’t obtained any of her winnings.
“I really feel like Tom Cruise in Jerry McGuire,” she advised the Sunday Instances. “Present me the cash!”
Somebody with data of the manufacturing advised Self-importance Honest that the contestants had been at all times conscious of the fee plan and that the winner will obtain the prize fund now that the finale episode has aired.
Since successful the competitors based mostly on Netflix’s hit South Korean drama collection Squid Sport, Whelan has been relatively conservative along with her spending. She received a brief, fashionable haircut, a black Ralph Lauren costume, and Jimmy Choo footwear to attend a Squid Sport gala. “I nonetheless have consumers regret from that, however I believe it is nicely deserved,” she mentioned.
The Squid Sport expertise, for Whelan, wasn’t simple. “I didn’t count on it to be so disturbing,” Whelan says. “It takes lots out of you, that recreation. To beat out 455 gamers was a really emotional second for me.” She was not the one one who had a troublesome time throughout the competitors collection. Shortly after filming wrapped, a number of Squid Sport: The Problem contestants advised Rolling Stone that their expertise was rife with “torment and trauma,” posed “critical hurt” to their wellbeing, and mentioned that the competitors was “rigged from the beginning.” (Netflix launched an announcement to Self-importance Honest saying the contestants’ claims had been “merely unfaithful”).
In November, contestants from the fact competitions collection threatened a lawsuit in opposition to Netflix and the present’s producers, alleging that that they had been bodily harmed whereas making the present. Two contestants claiming that they suffered hypothermia and nerve injury whereas taking pictures the primary leg of the collection, a recreation of “Pink Mild, Inexperienced Mild” at Cardington Studios in Bedford, U.Okay outdoors in the midst of winter.
“I did not have any excessive expectations. I simply needed to maneuver ahead to see the set,” mentioned Whelan of her motivation to succeed. “That was my complete factor. The entire set that they did was wonderful. To see the dormitory and set after set. That drove me: I’ve to remain in to see one other set.”
A grandmother who lives in Fairfax, Virginia along with her husband, Whelan mentioned that she intends to purchase property every time her winnings arrive. “I’m fascinated about a retirement house someplace,” says Whelan. “We don’t know the place but, and we’re pleased with the place we’re. We dwell on the water. It’s very peaceable.” She additionally mentioned she’s curious about donating some portion of the cash to “charities for the underprivileged, wildlife and local weather change.” Per her contract, Whelan shouldn’t be allowed to share any of her winnings along with her former opponents.
Squid Sport: The Problem was a smashing success for the streaming platform, with greater than 170 million hours watched worldwide since its premiere on November 22. It is already been renewed for a second season. Netflix declined to remark.