Professional Gamer Stephanie Harvey Is Canada’s Smartest Person

A season full of mind-bending challenges and intense competition on Canada’s Smartest Person came down to five worthy finalists vying for the title in Sunday’s holiday-themed season finale on CBC. In the end, 30-year-old Stephanie Harvey, a professional gamer from Quebec City, rose to the final challenge to take the crown and — in a Canada’s Smartest Person first — to have a $20,000 donation made to her charity of choice, Operation Enfant Soleil.

Harvey and her four fellow finalists did battle in festive versions of some of the show’s classic challenges that added holiday magic to the season finale, creating a winter wonderland complete with falling snow.  Edmonton’s Joshua Williams, a 25-year-old youth-program director, was the first competitor to be eliminated after registering the lowest score through the first three challenges. Mechanic Brittain Bancroft, 30, from Minto, N.B., bowed out next followed by Calgary’s Maria Samson, a 33-year-old former national team rugby player.

The grand finale, known as the Super Gauntlet, saw Harvey go head-to-head with Eric Yue, 40, a recreational hockey league commissioner from Victoria. The fast and festive face-off featured Christmas trees and snowmen as the key to the ultimate prize, the title of “Canada’s Smartest Person” and the $20,000 charitable donation. Yue leapt to an early lead in the first challenge of the Super Gauntlet, which tested linguistic intelligence, but struggled with the visual intelligence challenge that followed. Harvey took advantage of this opening and never looked back, flying through the visual, physical, musical and logical intelligence challenges to complete the Super Gauntlet and become the fourth person to be named “Canada’s Smartest Person.”

Harvey was moved to tears by her win and the knowledge that Operation Enfant Soleil, a foundation that raises funds for the care of sick children throughout Quebec, would receive the $20,000 donation in her name.

Photo: Canada’s Smartest Person/CBC