‘Squid Game’ winner Mai Whelan shares her plans as she awaits $4.56 Million prize money – Times of India

In a surprising turn of events, ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ victor Mai Whelan has revealed that she is yet to receive her much-awaited $4.56 million prize money from the popular competition series. The 55-year-old immigration adjudicator emerged victorious after conquering 455 other participants in the intense showdown that unfolded on screen in February.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Whelan humorously expressed her impatience, stating, she feels like Tom Cruise in Jerry McGuire, as all she wants from the people responsible to show her the money.
Despite the delay, Whelan shared details of her post-win indulgences, including a stylish ensemble for the Squid Game gala night, featuring a short haircut, a chic black dress, and shoes, all from high-end shops. Reflecting on her splurge, she quipped, that she still has buyer’s remorse but finds it all well deserved.

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Looking ahead, Whelan unveiled her plans for the prize money, which include exploring options for a retirement home and contributing to charitable causes. Additionally, she expressed her intention to donate to causes supporting the underprivileged, wildlife, and climate change. However, due to contractual obligations, she is prohibited from sharing the prize with any of her former competitors.
Addressing Whelan’s claim of a 10-month delay in prize money payout, sources close to the situation, as reported by People, indicated that the winner was aware of the show’s payment plan and is expected to finally receive her winnings now that the show has aired.

Further, the recent revelation from Whelan adds another layer of intrigue to the ‘Squid Game’ saga, following November’s controversy when two contestants threatened legal action against Netflix and the producers, alleging physical harm during filming. They claimed to have suffered hypothermia and nerve damage while participating in the Red Light, Green Light game at Cardington Studios in Bedford during winter. However, a Netflix spokesperson informed Deadline that no lawsuit had been filed at that time.

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