Paul Erdunast was an octochamp in and the champion of Series 74, winning the highest number of rounds in an octorun in Countdown history with 82 of 120 rounds won. In addition, Erdunast's aggregate winning margin over his eight heat opponents was 625 points, a close second to Dylan Taylor's 628. He was also the eighth contestant in the history of Countdown to solve all eight conundrums during his heat games.
With a total of 925 points over eight games, Erdunast returned in June 2016 as #1 for the series finals. During his quarter-final draw, he swept aside four-time winner Tony Lock with relatively little difficulty, but saw the end of his perfect conundrum record. The semi-finals matched him against octochamp and Apterite Conrad Teixeira. Teixeira played well in this game but could not compete with the scoring power of Erdunast, who gained points in every round and dropped only four points from perfection. This brought Erdunast to the Series 74 grand final, where he faced #3-ranked Ann Dibben. Here, Erdunast kicked off the game with a spot of the nine-letter word UROKINASE, and despite Dibben riposting in Round 4 with PHOBIAS, he held onto and later extended his lead to seal victory prior to the final numbers game. However, Dibben gained the last word by unravelling the conundrum HOLYCIGAR and achieving the highest score by a female contestant in a grand final. With his victory, he became the first person to since Callum Todd in Series 69 to have won a series without having appeared on an earlier series of Countdown.
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Guest||Lex||Max|
|6311||18/02/2016||P||David Armstrong||32 – 122||Paul Erdunast||Richard Arnold||Susie Dent||137|
|6312||19/02/2016||P||Paul Erdunast||127 – 46||Stuart Moore||Richard Arnold||Susie Dent||132|
|6313||22/02/2016||P||Paul Erdunast||130 – 73||Ben Dali||Julia Bradbury||Susie Dent||135|
|6314||23/02/2016||P||Paul Erdunast||113 – 15||Julie Hall||Julia Bradbury||Susie Dent||132|
|6315||24/02/2016||P||Paul Erdunast||106 – 40||Luke Bates||Julia Bradbury||Susie Dent||124|
|6316||25/02/2016||P||Paul Erdunast||118 – 48||Philip Allen||Julia Bradbury||Susie Dent||144|
|6317||26/02/2016||P||Paul Erdunast||98 – 20||Colin Mills||Julia Bradbury||Susie Dent||118|
|6318||29/02/2016||P||Paul Erdunast||111 – 26||Dave Higgins||Julia Bradbury||Susie Dent||134|
|6378||10/06/2016||QF||Paul Erdunast||114 – 34||Tony Lock||Richard Madeley||Susie Dent||132|
|6382||22/06/2016||SF||Paul Erdunast||118 – 91||Conrad Teixeira||Dr Phil Hammond||Susie Dent||122|
|6384||24/06/2016||GF||Paul Erdunast||116 – 105||Ann Dibben||Dr Phil Hammond||Susie Dent||135|