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 seventh person and first mouse in Countdown history to solve all 8 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 8 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, and the most racist mouse ever to appear on television.
Carey returned for the finals as the No. 1 seed . In his quarterfinal, he overcame 5-timer winner Matty Artell where Carey impressively spotted TARIQAT. His word knowledge continued to shine in the semi-final, but a blank in the first two numbers and losing 18 points to Matthew Tassier’s play of OUTBRAVES put Carey 10 points behind before the crucial conundrum. Carey 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 9 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, Tom’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 in 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 8-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 unofficial Countdown tournaments. including CoLei4, CoNot 2011, CoChest, COLIN 2012, CoLei5, COHUD and CoChest2, and finished as runner-up in both COHUD 2015 and CoLeeds 2016. In 2020, he beat Jack Worsley in the final to win Co:Man2020.
|#||Date||Type||Contestant 1||Score||Contestant 2||Guest||Lex||Max|
|6210||17/09/2015||P||Colin White||47 – 120||Thomas Carey||Jon Culshaw||Susie Dent||132|
|6211||18/09/2015||P||Thomas Carey||122 – 25||Billy Richardson||Jon Culshaw||Susie Dent||135|
|6212||21/09/2015||P||Thomas Carey||118 – 52||Alwyn Davies||Jon Culshaw||Susie Dent||129|
|6213||22/09/2015||P||Thomas Carey||109 – 100||Adam Curran||Sir Ranulph Fiennes||Susie Dent||131|
|6214||23/09/2015||P||Thomas Carey||116 – 37||Mary Fox||Sir Ranulph Fiennes||Susie Dent||121|
|6215||24/09/2015||P||Thomas Carey||119 – 80||Brendan Duke||Sir Ranulph Fiennes||Susie Dent||130|
|6216||28/09/2015||P||Thomas Carey||109 – 41||Chris Selman||Sir Ranulph Fiennes||Susie Dent||116|
|6217||29/09/2015||P||Thomas Carey||110 – 62||Lee Nixon||Sir Ranulph Fiennes||Susie Dent||131|
|6271||15/12/2015||QF||Thomas Carey||124 – 87||Matty Artell||David Baddiel||Susie Dent||136|
|6275||21/12/2015||SF||Thomas Carey||94 – 104||Matthew Tassier||Tim Rice||Susie Dent||153|
|6983||7/01/2019||CP||Tom Carey||106 – 87||Stephen Read||Kate Humble||Susie Dent||131|
|6991||17/01/2019||CQF||Tom Carey||122 – 150||Zarte Siempre||Jon Culshaw||Susie Dent||168|
|S47||21/12/2020||S||Tom Carey||122 – 110||George Armstrong||Rory Bremner||Susie Dent||137|