Mt. Midoriyama has been conquered! For only the second time during American Ninja Warrior‘s 11-season run — and the first time since 2015 — a competitor has nabbed the $1 million prize after completing all four stages of the difficult obstacle course.
On Monday’s season finale, Drew “Real Life Ninja” Drechsel impressively climbed the 75-foot rope to the top of Mt. Midoriyama in under 30 seconds, earning $1 million and joining a very exclusive winners club that until now only included one member. Drechsel’s win didn’t come without some steep competition; he faced off with Daniel Gil on Stage 4, but Gil failed to complete the climb before his 30 seconds were up.
In 2015, Isaac Caldiero and Geoff Britten both conquered Mt. Midoriyama, but Caldiero finished faster and walked away with the top prize. After several years of no cash winners, the show then introduced some twists in Season 10: $10,000 for anyone who conquered an 18-foot Mega Warped Wall, and $100,000 for the athlete who made it the furthest in the Las Vegas finals.
Drechsel has been competing on ANW since Season 3 in 2011, making it to the National Finals an impressive six times before the Season 11 finale. During that run, he reached Stage 3 three times, often finishing the season as the last man standing (and earning $100,000 last year.)
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Were you excited to see Drechsel finally achieve his dream of winning American Ninja Warrior? Has anyone deserved it more? (That nocturnal workout schedule is insane!) Watch the big moment below, then drop a comment with your reaction to Monday’s finale.