Ann Dibben was an octochamp in and the runner-up of Series 74. Notably, her performances in the Series 74 finals (in terms of knockout stages reached, tie-broken by highest scores, and excluding Championship of Champions appearances) make her the most successful female contestant in the history of the 15 round format.
Dibben initially appeared on Countdown in Series 18 in 1989 under her maiden name, Ann Rutter, winning one game and unseating three-time champion Mark Pont before being stopped by David Ware. In April 2016, she was readmitted to the show and made a much greater mark, becoming an octochamp, notching up a total of 884 points and never falling below 99 in any single game. She was the only woman to win a game in Series 74.
This run was successful enough to allow Dibben to enter the series finals in June as #3 seed. Here, her first opponent was the octochamp and Apterite Tim Down. Dibben maintained a narrow lead for most of the game, but Down achieved a perfect solution on the final four large numbers game to lead 106 – 97 going into the crucial conundrum. Roughly one second before the end of time, Dibben solved MAGICPORT to win by just one point. In the semi-finals, Dibben was again placed in a close matchup, this time against Robin McKay, and yet again she prevailed by a single point on a crucial conundrum, this one being unsolved. Finally, Dibben took on Paul Erdunast in the series grand final, and despite Erdunast having spotting UROKINASE in Round 1, she came back with PHOBIAS and managed to stick quite closely behind his score, remaining in contention until Erdunast sealed victory prior to the last numbers game. However, Dibben had the last word by unravelling the conundrum HOLYCIGAR in two seconds to lose 116 – 105 and become the first woman to have ever scored a century in a series grand final.
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Guest||Lex||Max|
|900||23/08/1989||P||Ann Rutter||63 – 59||Mark Pont||Brian Johnston||Della Thompson||76|
|901||24/08/1989||P||Ann Rutter||38 – 40||David Ware||Brian Johnston||Della Thompson||74|
|6342||12/04/2016||P||Tom Coward||55 – 117||Ann Dibben||Alistair McGowan||Susie Dent||153|
|6343||13/04/2016||P||Ann Dibben||107 – 45||Ashton Gardner||Alistair McGowan||Susie Dent||133|
|6344||14/04/2016||P||Ann Dibben||99 – 33||John Billitteri||Alistair McGowan||Susie Dent||124|
|6345||15/04/2016||P||Ann Dibben||118 – 60||Paul Lonsdale||Dave Myers||Susie Dent||131|
|6346||18/04/2016||P||Ann Dibben||102 – 54||Ben Manuell||Dave Myers||Susie Dent||129|
|6347||19/04/2016||P||Ann Dibben||112 – 63||Neville Spiers||Dave Myers||Susie Dent||124|
|6348||20/04/2016||P||Ann Dibben||101 – 37||Sean Taylor||Dave Myers||Susie Dent||130|
|6349||21/04/2016||P||Ann Dibben||128 – 28||Nick Ferguson||Dave Myers||Susie Dent||145|
|6380||20/06/2016||QF||Ann Dibben||107 – 106||Tim Down||Dr Phil Hammond||Susie Dent||127|
|6383||23/06/2016||SF||Robin McKay||112 – 113||Ann Dibben||Dr Phil Hammond||Susie Dent||144|
|6384||24/06/2016||GF||Paul Erdunast||116 – 105||Ann Dibben||Dr Phil Hammond||Susie Dent||135|