The Amazing Race 2012 finale Dave and Rachel win $1 million. Rachel and Dave picked a horrible time to make their first real mistake of the race, and it almost cost the record-breaking team in the history of The Amazing Race a million bucks.

However, after 12 legs though five continents, nine countries, 22 cities and more than 36,000 miles, the Army pilot and his wife overcame their near-fatal mistake and crossed the finish line first (twice) to capture the crown on the 20th season of CBS’ hit adventure reality show. The final leg of the race had the three remaining teams jet from Osaka, Japan (where the dating divorcees Vanessa and Ralph had become the final team to be eliminated), to Honolulu, Hawaii, for a mad scramble around the island, where the stress of the month-long globe-trekking adventure clearly took a toll as the teams navigated toward the finish.Rachel and Dave, who ended up winning a series record eight legs, managed to find their way to the finish line despite missing a clue that directed them to one final Road Block challenge. As they ran past all the previously eliminated contestants on the beach at Secret Island, thinking they were taking the final steps to the million-dollar top prize, host Phil Keoghan informed the stunned couple that they had not successfully completed all tasks.

Figuring out their mistake (follow the marked path, people!), Rachel and Dave back-tracked, got on the right course, but their once comfortable lead was gone. Art and J.J., the rarely-humble border patrol agents, had stumbled badly out of the gate in the final leg as they got lost by jumping in a cab without first figuring out the clue. They simply asked their cab driver to follow the lead cab, but once Rachel and Dave persuaded their driver to give them the slip, Art and J.J. appeared to have taken themselves out of the race.

Subscribe to Reality Rewind updates on Facebook, Twitter, Email, & RSS