Imagine becoming a millionaire and then having to wait months for your coins. That’s what Mai Whelan says happened to her. The ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ winner said she won in February but is still waiting for her bank account to fatten.
Whelan spoke of her experience on the show with Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday.
“I feel great. I am so relieved that it’s over now. I can talk freely with my friends and family on my experience on the show without having to say that I’d gotten eliminated,” Whelan said.
Whelan competed against 455 other players and ultimately won $4.56 million. The ‘Squid Game’ winner completed challenges inspired by Netflix’s 2021 thriller series ‘Squid Games.’ ET says the cast filmed season one of the competition series in about 16 days. Whelan took home the millions-worth W after beating Phil Cail in a game of rock-paper-scissors.
Whelan admitted that she felt guilty about winning against Cain at the time. She described her last-standing competitor as a “great” and “grounded” person to ET.
‘Squid Game Challenge’ Winner Reveals How She Plans To Spend Millions
Despite not receiving her bread, Whelan has already shopped with the millions in mind. Two significant purchases she made included a Ralph Lauren dress and Jimmy Choo shoes, which the winner wore to the Squid Game gala.
Whelan doesn’t plan to spend all of her newfound wealth on fashion! In fact, she told ET she has “charitable causes” she’d like to fund, such as kids’ educations, basic care for older adults, and climate and wildlife preservation.
It’s unclear when Netflix will financially equip her to splurge on those causes.
However, a source close to production told PEOPLE Whelan was aware that she wouldn’t get her millions right away. The payment plan allegedly included dispersing the funds after the show’s season finale aired on Wednesday (Dec. 6).