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It is shown that Squid Game had a single winner in every season, starting from 1990s to 2010s. How is it ensured?

In the current season it was very possible that no one survived the toughened glass game. Or 10 players making through the same challenge. So how did they ensure a single winner consistently for so many seasons?

The players were obviously not aware of this. Since they constantly planned for "winning the game together".

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    This is not extracted from the film but just being logical: for the glass game, you can avoid everyone dying by just removing the last person standing and not finishing the game. Since everyone but one is dead the competitive element is lost, and you won't really have a game to show to your customers after that.
    – JamalS
    Oct 26 at 9:02
  • @JamalS There's no reason they couldn't then keep the last two alive for the finale.
    – Flater
    Oct 30 at 20:06
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They can guarantee a single winner by having a game that produces a single winner only. Given the organ harvesters don't know what the next game will be before the marble game, it seems likely that the organizers setup multiple options for themselves and then choose which game is next based on the numbers they have left.

There is also nothing that stated that there can't be more than one winner - but it doesn't seem unbelievable to me that someone who has been desperate enough to keep playing once they know the stakes and has already seen so many die (often due to their own actions or choices) would be prepared to kill to win the entire money for themselves. The chances that someone who makes it that far has at least some degree of ruthlessness seems to the most likely outcome.

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    I was going to expand and extrapolate, but the truth is in the very first sentence of each paragraph here. Nothing indicates that each "season" used the same games in the same order. Oct 26 at 13:05
  • Thinking about if they would allow more than one winner some more - the main evidence against permitting this to me would be the VIP's. If one bet on 218 and one on 456, then who wins the bet if they both win? Unless the contestants come up with a novel solution which the VIP's find entertaining in itself, I would expect that they would be placed in a situation where only one wins.
    – Dave
    Oct 26 at 23:12
  • "There is also nothing that stated that there can't be more than one winner". There was a scene where the police inspector was searching for documents as proof and he found out the winner sheet (the winners names in the annual SG). There was only one winner in the games suggesting that the organizers set the game in such a way that there will be only one winner. Oct 27 at 2:47
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    problem is that the games (this time at least) are fixed from the start. They (along with three people at the dining table over the last night) are shown on the walls of the dormitory. The organisers could maybe reorder the games, but that wouldn't be enough for them to guarantee a single winner
    – Tristan
    Oct 27 at 10:57
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    @NikosHidalgo they absolutely are all there from the start, but hidden by the beds and not in order. There are many articles online pointing out the foreshadowing. Like you say, it does somewhat stretch the bounds of plausibility that they only noticed them when they did (around the time it becomes obvious to the viewer) given the amount of time they spend in the dormitory, but nonetheless, that is what is presented in the show
    – Tristan
    Oct 28 at 13:14
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In the fifth game, if everyone played rationally and cooperatively, they would have ended up with somewhere around 5-9 players*. Of course some people were neither rational nor collaborative so as a rule of thumb cut that number in half. The important thing to note is they can calibrate the bridge length to the number of players left at the start of the game so in most cases they end up with at least 2 and no more than 5.

After the 5th game they set things up so the remaining players would fight to the death and intervened when exactly 2 remained.

The last game could have been any game in which there are two “sides” that always results in one loser and one winner.

*This would be a good question for math.stackexchange.com.

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    You can already find the math.stackexchange.com question here: math.stackexchange.com/questions/4273290/… Oct 26 at 22:45
  • Depending on the rules of the glass game, they might have been able to all survive, or at least all but one. For instance, take off their clothes, make rope out of it, tie it to someone, then drag them back if they hit untempered glass. Oct 26 at 22:48
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    @Acccumulation The main objective (for the organisers) is to provide entertainment for those watching, and a game where there's very little (or even no) chance of any contestant dying isn't particularly interesting. Even if such a strategy wasn't explicitly against the rules, they'd have intervened in some way to make sure it didn't continue; we know from that task in the show that they're willing and able to change conditions of the game if it starts to appear too safe for the contestants. Oct 27 at 15:29

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