Meet the 3 Finalists of ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’: What Do They Plan to Do With the $4.56 Million If They Win?

Two of the players have charitable uses in mind for their potential prize

Sam Wells, Mai Whelan and Phill Cain in Season 1 of "Squid Game: The Challenge" (Photo credit: Getty Images)
Sam Wells, Mai Whelan and Phill Cain in "Squid Game: The Challenge"

As “Squid Game: The Challenge” enters its finale week, the show has revealed its last three players standing, Sam Wells (Player 016), Mai Whelan (Player 287) and Phill Cain (Player 451).

It’s been a long road to the series finale of Netflix’s “Squid Game”-inspired reality competition series. From broken alliances to shocking player eliminations and grueling challenges, it’s been an exciting and emotional ride to the show’s end for the participants.

“You really grow so close to these people after spending unlimited time for weeks and weeks with them. And so losing them in the game almost feels like losing them in real life,” Cain told TheWrap in a previous interview, calling the decision to eliminate players “tough.” “Do I want to do this? This person, do they deserve it? And then you go through a whole ethical and moral thing in your head,” Cain said. “It’s an impossible choice.”

The players’ continuance to the next round was the result of them all coming out a a winner in Episode 9’s game, “Circle of Trust.”

Episode 9 "Circle of Trust" in "Squid Game: The Challenge" Season 1 (Photo credit: Netflix)
Episode 9 “Circle of Trust” in “Squid Game: The Challenge” Season 1 (Netflix)

In the game, the players were blindfolded and seated at school desks. If a player was tapped on the shoulder by a “Squid Game: The Challenge” worker, the first player would remove their blindfold and place a gift box on the desk of another player they’d like to eliminate. Once the first player made their decision and was seated back at their desk with their blindfold intact, everyone’s blindfolds were removed and the second player (who was given the gift box) had to correctly guess who gave them the gift box. If the player with the box guessed correctly, the first player, who gifted the box, would was eliminated. If the second player guessed incorrectly, they were eliminated.

Episode 9 "Circle of Trust" in "Squid Game: The Challenge" Season 1 (Photo credit: Netflix)
Episode 9 “Circle of Trust” in “Squid Game: The Challenge” Season 1 (Netflix)

The final episode of the 10-episode competition series hits the streamer on Dec. 6. Here’s everything you need to know about the last three competitors.

Sam Wells (Player 016)

Sam, Player 016 from Season 1 of "Squid Game: The Challenge" (Photo credit: Netflix)
Sam Wells, Player 016 from Season 1 of “Squid Game: The Challenge” (Netflix)

From: Sam Wells lives in Broward County, Florida,

Age: 37

Occupation: Artist

What Wells plans to do with the money if he wins: Sam has a goal of purchasing a larger art studio for his work and wants to assist his husband with his film projects. Sam will also use the money to make financial investments as well as rescue and protect animals.

“I’ve been trying to play this game in a way that I’d be proud and [also in line with] how I’d act in the outside world,” Wells told his fellow player, Mai Whelan (Player 287) in Episode 9 “Circle of Trust.” “As long as we keep our eye on our hearts and our humanity, because we all have that good core.”

Mai Whelan (Player 287)

Mai, Player 287 from Season 1 of "Squid Game: The Challenge" (Photo credit: Netflix)
Mai Whelan, Player 287 from Season 1 of “Squid Game: The Challenge” (Netflix)

From: Born in Vietnam, Mai Whelan relocated to the United States as a refugee when she was 8. She currently lives in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Age: 55

Occupation: Immigration adjudicator at the Department of Homeland Security.

What Whelan plans to do with the money: If she wins, Whelan plans to use the money to buy her retirement home, and will donate the remaining prize winnings to causes she cares about.

“This game is all about self-preservation,” Whelan said in Episode 9 “Circle of Trust.” “I have to do what I have to do to survive.”

Phillip “Phill” Cain (Player 451)

Phil, Player 451 from Season 1 of "Squid Game: The Challenge" (Photo credit: Netflix)
Phill Cain, Player 451 from Season 1 of “Squid Game: The Challenge” (Netflix)

From: Originally from Brazil, Phill Cain moved to the United States in middle school. He currently lives in Hawaii.

Age: 27

Occupation: Scuba instructor.

What Cain plans to do with the money: If Cain wins the money, he plans to give a large portion of it away.

“If I suddenly become a millionaire, I wouldn’t keep most of the money,” Phill said in an interview with Netflix. “I’ve personally been helped a lot throughout my entire life by family and friends and I’ve never really been able to reciprocate.”

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