Mai Whelan: Where is Squid Game Player 287 Now?

Image Credit: Nic Serpell-Rand/Netflix

Since its inception, Netflix’s ‘Squid Game: The Challenge‘ has easily become a fan-favorite of all those who enjoy everything that the genre of reality TV has to offer. Inspired by ‘Squid Game,‘ the show boasts several reasons behind its massive popularity, including its set of intriguing cast members. Over the course of the unfolding events, one cannot help but start to feel connected to all those who have come on the show to claim the grand prize.

However, few in the show have been able to make as much impression on others as Mai Whelan, AKA Player 287. Her friendship with others on the show helped her not only move forward in the competition but also earn much respect. Many of the contestants were more than happy to place their trust in her and listen to the advice she gave. Mai also stood out for being firm in loyalties and beliefs when it came to others and the way in which the game was being played. Hence, her ultimate victory in the multi-million dollar show made people across the world very happy, and the fans are now quite curious about what she has been up to these days.

Mai Whelan is Now an Immigration Adjudicator

Mai Whelan’s influence on the viewers of ‘Squid Game: The Challenge‘ is undeniable, given her status as the show’s victor. After all, few were able to enjoy the level of respect and friendship that she was able to accumulate. A woman of her principles, Mai has a strong sense of right and wrong, which certainly became evident when she found Ashley Tolbert’s actions to be distasteful during the latter stages of the competition.


During her time on the show, Mai opened up about her past as well as just how she became the person she is today. “I was born in Vietnam, and I left during the fall of Vietnam in 1975. I was eight years old,” the reality TV contestant recalled. “And I can remember that you know, going to the airfield where everybody, you know, all the refugees are laying down on the airfield. And being eight years old, I was, like, curious, so I had, you know, my head up, trying to see where’s the bombing coming from, or where the guns, you know, were shooting at.”

“I just, a split second, I lift my head up. A soldier automatically, so quick, put the gun, you know, to my temple,” Mai revealed. “And he was about to shoot me because, you know, he thought I was a threat. So my mother yanked me so hard to the ground. And in that split second, my life was, like, almost over. That is a moment where I would never, never forget. And that moment is like, you know, a driving moment for me to be strong.”

Since then, Mai has worked hard to help others and serve those in need. Once a part of the military, she now works as an Immigration Adjudicator. As a part of her job, she determines the immigration status of those who wish to move to the USA. Presently, based in Fairfax County, Virginia, Mai enjoys spending time with her family and loved ones. Her other interests include gardening and traveling. Even prior to the show’s end, she shared how she wanted to use the prize money to look for a home where she could comfortably retire. The reality TV star opened her Instagram account shortly before the release of the season 1 finale of the Netflix show, prior to which she had not been active on any social media platforms.

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