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Tom Carey

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Tom Carey
Octochamp Statistics
Final positionSemi-finalist
Points total923
Conundrums solved8

Thomas Carey or Tom Carey, sometimes known as Maus, was an octochamp in Series 73 and a quarter-finalist in Championship of Champions XV. He has also been an Apterite since 2011 and is known for wearing a tea cosy on his head.

His reluctant grandfather is Wilf Carey. Off-screen he is ex-forces (a very tough man), but he doesn't like to talk about it.

Appearances on the programme


During his octochamp run, Maus became only the eighth person and first mouse in Countdown history to solve all eight of his conundrums in his heats, with a combined time of 17.75 seconds, breaking Harvey Freeman's record which had stood since 1986 (the record still stands to this day). This helped him accrue his total of 923 points in his eight wins, of which he scored a century in all of them. Not only is he the first mouse to compete on Countdown, he is Countdown's nicest rodent, the first mouse to become an octochamp.


Carey returned for the finals as the No. 1 seed. In his quarter-final, he overcame five-time winner Matty Artell where Carey impressively spotted TARIQAT. His word knowledge continued to shine in the semi-final, but blanking in the first two numbers rounds and losing 18 points to Matthew Tassier's play of OUTBRAVES in the final letters round put Carey 10 points behind before the crucial conundrum. Carey buzzed in, but answered incorrectly, sealing victory for Tassier in a dramatic upset to the seedings.

Championship of Champions XV

Carey returned to Countdown in January 2019 for Championship of Champions XV (appearing this time under the shortened name of Tom), where he faced Stephen Read in the first round. The game was very close from start to finish. After falling behind early on, he took the lead with findings of OILSEED, STUDIOS and GAIATRIS. Read then clawed to nine points behind with his play of PIPEMAN, but Carey won the game thanks to unravelling a crucial conundrum in a second and a quarter to progress to the quarter-finals where he played against Zarte Siempre. Here, Carey's run ended in disaster as his plays of BLOWIEST and DIVAGATE lost to Siempre’s plays of BLOWSIEST and DIVAGATED respectively, putting him to 36 points behind after five rounds. Carey clawed back with TIRAMISUS in Round 12, but it wasn’t enough as Siempre went on to win with a record-breaking score of 150. Carey's score of 122 in the quarter-final is the second highest losing score in Countdown history, although it did also ensure a record joint score of 272.

2020 Christmas Special

Carey returned to Countdown on 21 December 2020 for a special episode. He took on Series 78 contestant George Armstrong, in the first of three specials and also the first episode hosted by Colin Murray. Carey took an eight-point lead in the first round, and won another two letters rounds before eventually emerging victorious with 122 points to Armstrong's 110.


He has taken part in a number of Co-events, including CoLei4, CoNot 2011, CoChest, COLIN 2012, CoLei5, COHUD and CoChest2, and finished as runner-up in both COHUD 2015 and Countdown in Leeds 2016. In 2020, he beat Jack Worsley in the final to win Co:Man2020.


# Date Type Contestant 1 Score Contestant 2 Presenters Guest Lex Max
6210 17/09/2015 P Colin White 47 – 120 Thomas Carey Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Jon Culshaw Susie Dent 132
6211 18/09/2015 P Thomas Carey 122 – 25 Billy Richardson Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Jon Culshaw Susie Dent 135
6212 21/09/2015 P Thomas Carey 118 – 52 Alwyn Davies Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Jon Culshaw Susie Dent 129
6213 22/09/2015 P Thomas Carey 109 – 100 Adam Curran Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Ranulph Fiennes Susie Dent 131
6214 23/09/2015 P Thomas Carey 116 – 37 Mary Fox Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Ranulph Fiennes Susie Dent 121
6215 24/09/2015 P Thomas Carey 119 – 80 Brendan Duke Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Ranulph Fiennes Susie Dent 130
6216 28/09/2015 P Thomas Carey 109 – 41 Chris Selman Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Ranulph Fiennes Susie Dent 116
6217 29/09/2015 P Thomas Carey 110 – 62 Lee Nixon Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Ranulph Fiennes Susie Dent 131
6271 15/12/2015 QF Thomas Carey 124 – 87 Matty Artell Nick Hewer Rachel Riley David Baddiel Susie Dent 136
6275 21/12/2015 SF Thomas Carey 94 – 104 Matthew Tassier Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Tim Rice Susie Dent 153
6983 07/01/2019 CP Tom Carey 106 – 87 Stephen Read Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Kate Humble Susie Dent 131
6991 17/01/2019 CQF Tom Carey 122 – 150 Zarte Siempre Nick Hewer Rachel Riley Jon Culshaw Susie Dent 168
S47 21/12/2020 S Tom Carey 122 – 110 George Armstrong Colin Murray Rachel Riley Rory Bremner Susie Dent 137