Which Houseguest Won $500k?: Big Brother Season 18, Episode 42 Recap See who took home the grand prize during the 90-minute season finale of BB18!
Posted on Sep 21, 2016 11:00pm

After 99 days of intense competitions, strategic backstabbing, and the occasional cuddling session, Big Brother Season 18 finally came to an end; and, in true Big Brother fashion, the season finale had fans everywhere on the edge of their seats.

For the first time in five years, a woman scored the grand prize and, if that wasn't impressive enough, Nicole’s win marked the first time in the show's history that a female Houseguest won Big Brother when seated next to a male in the Final 2!

Congratulations, Nicole! That’s one heck of a feat.

She's in that cloud of sparkling confetti. Promise.

While we send the cheery champ our kudos, let’s take a look back at the events that lead up to the final vote.

WATCH: Full Episode 42 of Big Brother Season 18

Paul secured his spot in the first leg of the final three-part HOH competition after kicking both Nicole and James out of the litter box during the kitty-themed "Hang In There" challenge.

Defeated but not deflated, Nicole put on her game face and headed to the amusement park-themed backyard where she tested her memory and went up against James in the "Snapshot" comp for a chance at redemption.

To win, the returners had to recall which three Houseguests were involved in specific events throughout the season, arrange their picks at the top of a rollercoaster, and successfully snap a photo of all the action.

In the end, the ER nurse's hustle paid off and she proceeded to the last round, where she faced your bearded boy.

Balanced on a massive scale, Paul and Nicole squared off for the "Scales Of Justice" competition, where they had to pick between two statements and decide which comment the Houseguest actually uttered following his or her eviction. The person to answer the most questions correctly would win.

Ultimately, luck tipped in Paul's favor, making him the final HOH of the season, and presenting him with the biggest challenge of the entire season—selecting which Houseguest he'd bring to Final 2.

Sticking with his "friendship" theme, the BB Muffin Man rewarded Nicole for her loyalty and honesty, and sent Captain Camo packing.

With a such a big check on the line, Paul and Nicole did their best to answer the jurors' questions before delivering one last pitch on why they deserved to win.

While both HGs gave passionate speeches, the bubbly blonde’s resonated most with 5 out of 9 jury members—including Paulie, Da'Vonne, Natalie, Zakiyah, and Corey—and cemented her place in Big Brother history.

Second time's a charm, right Nicole?

Meet the newest crop of Houseguests when the Big Brother: Over the Top doors open on Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 10 PM ET / 7 PM PT only on CBS All Access.

Until then, be sure to vote for which returning Houseguest you'd like to see join the cast: Jozea Flores (BB18) or Jason Roy (BB17). The polls will close on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 2:59 PM ET / 11:59 AM PT.

Only CBS All Access subscribers can vote, so register now and help cast the final Houseguest!