Havelock North's William Barnes can now reveal the secret he has kept for seven weeks.

He is television's 2016 Mastermind, the show which finished its run on TV One last night.

His win was announced with little fanfare: host Peter Williams confirmed the score, and there was a round of audience applause as Barnes was confirmed the winner.

There was no confetti, music or fireworks. Barnes smiled as he was shown his trophy, then sat back in the show's famous leather chair as Williams said: "We hope you have many happy times sitting at it in the times to come."


That was the end of the show.

"It was just such a shock," Barnes said. "It is unbelievable in the fuller sense of the word."

Filming took place during Easter and it had been a drag waiting until now to come clean, "especially being a school teacher".

Since then everyone had been studying his body language, the 35-year-old said.

Onekawa's Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Ara Hou English teacher wore his school house colours, a yellow T-shirt, for luck.

Barnes spent four months studying from two reference books which the questions were taken from.

"It was quite fun, it didn't feel like study."

While not putting himself under any pressure during the show, he said his main fear was "bombing out".

His friends and family were in the audience, but getting a line of sight towards his wife was vital, he said.

Surprising himself, he said his best round was New Zealand sport, and remembering things from his childhood, answers "just came flying out".

The most nerve-racking of it all? Waiting for his turn in the hotseat. "But once you're in the chair it's fine because everything turns black and it's just Peter Williams and the spotlight."

His secret was to psych himself up to a point where he was 100 per cent focused on the questions.

"I really liked it by the end, it's quite addictive. Once I knew I wasn't going to bomb I thought, 'this is so cool'."

Remembering the show from his childhood he was still grasping the idea that he, like those he had idolised, was now a Mastermind champion too.

Inheriting a love of general knowledge from his mother, he said he had always enjoyed general knowledge and pub quizzes.

Barnes said he would definitely defend his title if he had the time.