December 08, 2023
The gripping saga of “Squid Game: The Challenge” has reached its pinnacle with the airing of its final episode on Netflix, unveiling the victorious contender who is poised to claim a staggering $4.56 million. However, as the spotlight shifts to the winner, a burning question arises: What will be the actual amount they take home after navigating the intricacies of tax deductions?
The last episode of “Squid Game: The Challenge” has concluded its nail-biting journey on Netflix, leaving fans eagerly anticipating the final payout for the triumphant contestant. With ten episodes filled with intense highs and lows, the show has not only made history by starting with the highest number of contestants in Netflix’s reality TV chronicles—mirroring the 456 players from the original Squid Game—but also by offering the largest cash prize ever seen in this genre.
The fortunate winner is poised to walk away with an eye-watering $4.56 million, a sum that has set new benchmarks in reality TV winnings.
Emerging victorious in “Squid Game: The Challenge,” Player 278, Mai Whelan, a US citizen, is now faced with the inevitable—tax implications on her $4.56 million windfall. If she opts for a lump-sum payment, she will be subject to a reported federal income tax rate of 37 percent, translating to a net payout slightly exceeding $2.87 million.
Despite the show being filmed in the UK, where prize money typically remains untouched by taxes, winners bear the responsibility of meeting tax obligations in their home country. In the United States, the IRS designates game show winnings exceeding $600 as taxable income.
The tax rate levied varies based on the winnings, with lower amounts incurring proportionally lower taxes. However, given the substantial nature of Mai’s $4.56 million bounty, her winnings are likely to fall into the highest tax bracket of 37 percent.
As fans revel in Mai Whelan’s triumph, the financial aftermath of her victory becomes a compelling narrative. The revelation of the net winnings after-tax deduction adds a new layer of intrigue to the “Squid Game: The Challenge” storyline, sparking discussions on the fiscal realities of reality TV triumphs.