Dating Couple" Meghan Rickey and Cheyne Whitney won The Amazing Race's fifteenth season during last night's finale broadcast of the CBS reality competition series.
"This is absolutely a dream come true," Meghan said after the couple's victory.
"I couldn't have imagined a better race. I've learned so much about Cheyne. He's just such a good friend and such a good person. I know that he's always going to be there for me throughout my entire life."
Meghan, a 23-year-old account executive from San Diego, CA, and Cheyne, a 23-year-old student also from San Diego, were the first team to cross the fifteenth-season's finish line in Las Vegas and claimed the $1 million grand prize.
"The whole experience in itself was life changing," said Cheyne. "And the money isn't even as important as what we got to do together."
"Brothers" Daniel and Samuel McMillen finished second.
"We're completely happy to be here," said Dan. "We wanted to share our story. We wanted to not let our family down just by being who we were, but we just wanted to come out and do this race and finish this race."
"We bicker, we pick at each other. But we know it's not going to matter," added Sam. "At the end of the day we're still brothers, we still love each other."
"Married Couple" Ericka Dunlap and Brian Kleinschmidt finished third.
"I think my family's going to see some things in Brian that they never had an opportunity to see before and I hope they fully accept him for who he is," said Ericka. "This was just a part of our journey. I'm just really grateful that I had him to do it with and I'm really glad that I have him in my life to learn from."
The Amazing Race's finale broadcast began at the previous Pit Stop at Strelecky Ostrov in Prague.
Since Meghan and Cheyne were the first team to arrive at the Pit Stop, they were the first team to depart at 11:10AM. They opened their next clue, which instructed them to fly nearly 6,000 miles to Las Vegas, their final destination on the race.
They found a travel agent and booked a British Airways flight leaving Prague for Vegas at 6:40PM.
"I'm sure we're all going to be on the same flight together," said Meghan, adding the flight would arrive stateside at 2PM the next day.
Meghan and Cheyne were followed by Sam and Dan (12:08PM) and Brian and Ericka (3:15PM) -- and Meghan's assumption was correct as all three teams had the same flight.
The three teams then arrived in Vegas and hailed taxis to take them to the Graceland Wedding Chapel.
Once there an Elvis impersonator handed them their next clue, which instructed them to travel to the Mandalay Bay casino. Brian and Ericka's cab driver took a shortcut and got them to Mandalay Bay first and they were met by a Roadblock.
In this Roadblock, one member from each team would have to rappel down the side of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Once they got to the bottom they would receive their next clue. Ericka decided to do the Roadblock, followed by Cheyne and Sam.
"Our taxi driver sucked," said Dan as he waited at the bottom of the building.
Ericka was the first one down. She and Brian opened their next clue, which told them to travel to The Mirage casino.
"I think the karma is finally going to pay off," said Brian as they hopped into their cab. "We're definitely feeling good, but we're not getting cocky. Anything can happen."
Cheyne then reached the bottom and left for The Mirage with Meghan, followed by Sam and Dan.
"Dang it, I hate being in third place right now," said Sam.
Brian and Ericka were the first to arrive at The Mirage, where they were met by a task in which they would have to join the cast of the Circque du Soleil show Love.
Using bungee cords, one team member had to launch their partner high enough in the air to retrieve a bouquet of flowers. Once they grabbed the entire bouquet, they would hand it over to the flower child -- who would hand them their next clue.
Ericka was attached to the bungee cords, followed by Meghan and Dan. Despite arriving in first, Brian and Ericka quickly lost their lead when she had a hard time getting high enough to retrieve the bouquet.
"It was frustrating because I knew she was trying her hardest," said Brian. "She was just an inch away."
Ericka thought she needed to switch with Brian since he's taller, and he finally seemed to understand once Meghan grabbed the bouquet.
"You want to switch or not?" he asked meekly.
"Yeah, I want to switch!" she replied. "Get me down I want to switch!"
Opening their next clue, Meghan and Cheyne learned they were looking for "the most famous casino in the country of Monaco" and needed to figure out they were looking for the Monte Carlo casino. Unfortunately, the cab driver they asked told them he believed the The Venetian casino was the clue answer.
Back at the Love show, Dan was the next to grab the bouquet -- causing Ericka and Brian to switch roles again and Ericka to launch into an extended meltdown.
Dan and Sam had their cab driver simply follow Meghan and Cheyne, meaning both were now en route to the wrong destination. However on the way to The Venetian, Sam and Dan called the Mandalay Bay to ask what "the most famous casino in the country of Monaco" was and learned the correct Monte Carlo answer.
"They're turning that way," Meghan noticed. "Let's ask Cheyne. I'm scared."
They asked some people on the street and still couldn't get the right answer. Meanwhile, Ericka finally grabbed the bouquet and they received their next clue. Brian thought he knew the Monte Carlo was the answer and Ericka assured him he was right.
Sam and Dan were the first to reach the Monte Carlo and learned that for their final task, they'd have to count $1 million worth of poker chips from a table containing 84,000 chips of different denominations. When they thought they were finished, a dealer would check their amount before handing them a special chip and their next clue. Sam and Dan took a strategy of collecting only red $1,000 chips.
Meghan and Cheyne finally learned they were looking for the Monte Carlo, however on their way there they got stuck in traffic.
"I think we just lost some time," said Meghan.
Brian and Ericka were the next to arrive at the Monte Carlo and also started with the $1,000 chips. Meghan and Cheyne eventually arrived and began with the $1,000 chips as well, putting them in stacks of 25.
Despite the different start times, all three teams appeared to finish counting their chips within moments of each other and their assigned dealers started checking their totals. Meghan and Cheyne learned they were correct with their first count attempt, however neither Sam and Dan or Brian and Ericka were as lucky.
Opening their next clue, Meghan and Cheyne learned they needed to travel to the "High Roller's Suite" at the MGM Grand Hotel, where singer Wayne Newton would tell them the finish line's location.
Meanwhile, Sam and Dan and Brian and Ericka both re-checked their counts, and while the brothers got it right Brian and Ericka still didn't.
"How does this happen every single time?" a depressed Ericka asked.
Meghan and Cheyne arrived at the suite and were met by Wayne, who sent them to the finish line -- which was at his house. Sam and Dan also met Wayne and he gave them the finish line's destination too -- even though they didn't know his name.
While Meghan and Cheyne were the first at Wayne's ranch, they had a hard time finding the entrance. However it didn't matter, as they were still the first across the finish line.
"This has been such a learning experience," said Meghan. "Every step of the way has been so neat."
"She was one of the strongest competitors in the whole race -- even compared to the guys," said Cheyne about Meghan. "She raced with the best of them."
The Amazing Race's fifteenth season covered eight countries and more than 25,000 miles in 21 days.