Big Brother 18

Big Brother Recap: And the Winner Is...

In no less than seven days, Big Brother will already have returned for its next cycle, Over the Top — the series’ first-ever streaming-only season that will air exclusively on CBS All Access.

But first… Before this summer’s cast fades from your memory in a week, the winner of Season 18 was crowned on Wednesday night, at the end of a super-sized finale.

So, who walked away $500,000 richer?

Spoiler alert!

Nicole!

Indeed, after Paul triumphed in the final Head of Household competition and sent James out the door, he and Nicole fielded questions from the nine-person jury before learning which one of them would take home half a million dollars.

Although the jury members seemed on completely different pages about who deserved to win — even before they discovered who the finalists were — Nicole ultimately claimed the grand prize in a nailbiter 5-4 vote. (Da’Vonne was the tiebreaker, and her vote for Nicole may have been the most expect-the-unexpected moment of the season.)

And if you need a dose of girl power this Wednesday evening, enjoy this: For the first time in BB history, a woman has triumphed over a man when sitting next to him in the Final Two. (Who knew this show could keep feminism alive?)

But Nicole and Paul aren’t the only ones leaving with some extra dough: Victor was named America’s Favorite Houseguest, and he’ll be walking away with $25,000.

Big Brother fans, I leave it to you. Did Nicole deserve to win? Were you surprised by the close jury vote? Leave all of your thoughts on Season 18 in the comments below.