Meghan Rickey and Cheyne Whitney
What happened in Vegas remained a well-kept secret — one that was very hard to keep for Amazing Race champs Meghan Rickey and Cheyne Whitney. The 23-year-olds, who have been dating for five years, overcame a face-first rappel down the Mandalay Bay, a bungee-jumping Cirque de Soleil act, a hotel mix-up and a poker chip-counting task before crossing the finish line first at Wayne Newton's house. "Every single season, I have cried at the finish because I got so attached to the teams," Meghan tells TVGuide.com. "To actually be in that situation was unreal." See what else the couple has to say.
TVGuide.com: You owned everyone at the chip-counting challenge since you got there third and left first. What was your strategy?
Meghan: We just wanted to make it interesting! No, just kidding! Our strategy was not to worry about the other teams because there's nothing we can do about them. The other teams were, fortunately, counting their chips individually. Cheyne's played a lot of poker, so he knew to count one stack and stack the rest to that same level, so we got done a lot faster.
Cheyne: I host a game at my house every week, so I work with poker chips all the time and that really did help. Meghan was awesome at finding all the chips at the right time and I just stacked. We worked really well together.
Amazing Race's Flight Time and Big Easy: No regrets about taking penaltyTVGuide.com: Do you know how far behind you were going into the chip task?
Sam and Dan got there 10 minutes before Brian and Ericka, and they got there five minutes before us. ... We lost about 10 minutes trying to find the Monte Carlo.Cheyne:
Luckily, the Venetian was literally across the street from the back of the Monte Carlo. If it had been a different hotel, we could've lost the race.TVGuide.com: You never really fought, not even when you couldn't figure out the hotel was the Monte Carlo. How did you stay calm?
We felt like there wasn't time to fight. Sometimes there are teams where it was almost like two different teams on one team, but we felt like we were one team. We felt like if we had a goal and we need to get this done quickly, we will work better together, so I think we did a good job with that. TVGuide.com: Your only moment of friction that we saw was in the Czech Republic when you ditched the Globetrotters at the train station. Meghan, you wanted to work with them; Cheyne, you didn't. What happened there?
We always had the same strategy: If it didn't help advance the other team, [we would] encourage them, be nice to them because it helps you. That was the only time I felt like we disagreed. He thought I wasn't being competitive, but I was being competitive in a different way. I always planned to take that cab, but when they asked [us where we're going], Cheyne ignored them and I said, "Hey guys, we're going to take this cab." I think it's that simple: Just be nice when it doesn't matter.Cheyne:
At that point, I was really like, "Cut our ties! It's about ourselves." It strayed from our original plan, but Meghan was trying to keep our P.R. up!
Amazing Race's Gary and Matt: We don't feel like we lost
TVGuide.com: You tied Nick and Starr with seven wins and you won the last four legs, and now fans are saying you're one of the best teams ever, if not the best. How does that make you feel?
Cheyne: Thank you so much! It makes us feel great just because we have been fans of The Amazing Race since Season 1. We started dating five years ago and we were like, "Oh, I love The Amazing Race!" "Oh, me too!" "Well, we're going to do it!" We applied for [Seasons] 13, 14 and finally got on 15. I believe in destiny and making your future happen. We didn't make 14, but if we did, I would've finished school, like, six months later. I wouldn't have gotten my job that I have. Everything fell into place and I think it's cool that people think we're the best Amazing Race team ever.
TVGuide.com: What are you going to do with the money?
Cheyne: A million dollars is life-changing, but it's not enough to run off and spend it all. We're going to buy a house together and enjoy a comfortable life and not be too extravagant.
Amazing Race's Maria and Tiffany: We didn't want to quitTVGuide.com: You also have six other prizes. Do you really have the need for a sauna in San Diego?
] We laugh about that. Everyone's like, "You guys are going to sell that." But we said if we win, we'll keep the sauna, and if we don't, we'll sell the sauna. So it's our sauna! It makes us laugh when we talk about it.TVGuide.com: Cheyne, we have to talk about the hair. Does it naturally stick up straight like that or was that all product?
Woo! Woo! It's all natural, baby! [Laughs
] No. We went through an airport and they tried to take my hairspray, which is wax because wax doesn't really come out when it gets wet. But the airport security took my wax, so I sprayed about three-quarters of the can into my hair and said, "Well, hopefully it'll stay for the rest of the trip!" And it did! Matt actually hooked me up with a little bit of hair gel on one leg, too, so that helped!
Check back later this week for our interviews with Sam and Dan, and Brian and Ericka!