Millionaire Today

| 29 Comments

I'm on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire today. Check local listings for channel and time.

If you watched yesterday, you saw a series of contestants crap out early-- including one player who missed on the $1,000 question and left with $0. All of these people were in my contestant group. I'd gotten to know them over the past day, and I watched them tank from the green room with a sinking stomach. It seemed like a bad omen and rattled my already-strained nerves. I think that bit of background is helpful in understanding my mind-set when I sat in the hotseat.

Warning: I expect the comments to this message to contain spoilers. Don't read if you don't want the know the outcome of the show.

29 Comments

Dang it! Where are the spoilers? Come on, it must've already aired in western England. Your contract has been complete, Peter! Let's hear the results! =)
I understand that you're hosting a party to watch the show this evening. I want to know: Does the contract you signed keep you from shouting out the answers while the show's on?

Actually, the party is tomorrow. Friday's generally better for that kind of thing than Thursday.

I'm not going to shout out answers-- I'm going to let the room play along. I figure the group will be able to get every question correct without my help. 30 heads should be much better than 1.

Excellent WAG on Millicent. I'm pretty sure that's a fairly recent marketing innovation, so even if you were born female you probably wouldn't have known it (I'd check but my copy of Marvin Kaye's book on origins of toys is inaccessible just now - I certainly don't remember anything about a middle name in the Barbie chapter).

For the record, I wouldn't have asked the audience on the GI question (I knew it), but I might well have used a lifeline on the previous question, since I have no idea how "You're a Grand Old Flag" goes beyond the first few lines. I wouldn't have used the other lifelines, at least until I got to $64K, when I probably would have used both the remaining ones, since "Millicent" wasn't speaking to me. :)

Well done! At first I thought, "Wow, he's lucky, he got to appear on national television." Then I thought, "Wait. He just won sixty-four thousand dollars in fifteen minutes." That sort of put things in perspective.

International television, even!

(I'd still prefer the sixty-four grand.)

Say, uh, Peter...howzabout posting the questions
in a seperate thread for those of us who don't
get the show in syndication?

With another day to go before Peter's denouement, I'll jump in to steal my 30 seconds of fame on his coattails with the view from the Phone-a-Friend.

A producer called me at the office early in the morning to ask a few questions and tell me what to expect. Surprisingly, considering Peter's detailed contract, they asked me for very few particulars. Along about 3:00 p.m., they called again to let me know he'd started taping and that I was to make myself available and answer the phone with a cheery Hello! Which was fine, except my office has no direct lines and all incoming calls go through a receptionist. So I had to convince the entire office (only about 10 people) not to touch the phones until I was clear. Then I went off to a separate room with a phone and Google and waited.

It still didn't work. When the call came in, someone (my boss, ex-boss now) picked up before I could, then paged me "Mark, it's for you!" So I answer and the producer just tells me "OK, after I'm done talking, pause a couple seconds, then say Hello!" Obviously all this was edited out, but I believe they were getting some if not all of it in the studio.

Meanwhile, all my coworkers were piling through the door behing me, falling all over themselves to be quiet. I'm going on with my chitchat with Meredith, and then boom, here's Peter. I answered pizzeria right off the bat, and proceeded to spend 20 seconds trying to talk myself out of it. It's been a long time since I've seen "Do the Right Thing" and I couldn't envision the scene they were talking about. I remembered the whole movie as set in and around the pizza place, and in the end figured for an $8,000 question they weren't going to get real tricky.

The producer came back on, said thanks for helping, goodbye, and click. I then spent 15 minutes googling around to confirm that I was right, and breathed a sigh of relief.

So I knew Peter had answered the $8,000 question correctly, and from talking to him later that night that he had made it to a second day, but that was all I ever knew. Honest. So now I'm in as much suspense as everybody else regarding tomorrow's show.

And for the record, I would have bombed out on the next question, or at least spent 2 of 3 lifelines before someone convinced me that the Apollo flight took 4 days, not 6.

We were pulling for you down in LA, Peter. You made me completely second-guess myself on the Torah question, and neither my wife nor I (nor my 7yo daughter) came up with Millicent. We all thought Elizabeth.

I didn't even know the Apollo question (thought it was 2 days), and I'm a rocket scientist! Sheesh.

Good luck on Monday. (Yes, we know this is all taped long ago.)

Uh... I mean Friday.

(Rocket scientist, sheesh. Now no one will believe me :-)

Congratulations so far from one of your ex-Seattle game night groupies (groupers? grouppersons?)!

I thought the Apollo question was oddly phrased. It asked "about how many days..." I immediately ruled out 6 and 7 -- if one of those were the answer, wouldn't it have felt unfair? Six days is ABOUT seven days, after all, and vice versa. Did that go through your head as well?

Looking forward to tomorrow's show (well done to you, too, phone-a-friend plaid Mark)!

Brian: I'll post all the questions in a seperate thread tomorrow or Saturday. I also hope to make a digital version of my appearance available for download for anyone who missed it. I'll keep you posted.

Other thoughts:

I regretted using the Ask the Audience lifeline almost as soon as Meredith started giving her usual instructions to the audience. I knew the right answer. "Issue" was my first thought. If someone had asked me the question anywhere else, it would have been a no-brainer. But it was still early, I was still nervous, and the wording of the question flustered me. A person as "government issue"? That didn't make sense. But "government individual" didn't even parse. I was petrified of screwing up so early. So with 100+ people all focused on me in complete silence (the background music is added in post-production; you could have heard a pin drop in the studio), and with all the early exits from the previous day, I panicked and used the lifeline. In retrospect, it wouldn't have mattered. Had I saved this lifeline, I'd have used it later on Do the Right Thing and then phoned a friend on Apollo. Then I'd definitely have used the 50/50 on Barbie. So either way, I'd have been going into the next day with no lifelines.

My show was the 4th show taped that day. I knew every movie question asked during all those other shows (I would have killed for that Indiana Jones question Julian got at $16K). So naturally, I got a movie question that I had no clue on. Sigh...

I hated using my last lifeline before getting to 32K. I thought the answer was 4 from the get-go, but had no real basis for that feeling other than a sense that it had to be a fairly short trip from the Earth to the moon. The question didn't ask how long it took to get to the moon, though-- it asked how long it was between Apollo 11's launch and LANDING on the moon. I even stopped tape so I could verify the wording was intentional. So 2 seemed too small, making 4 look really good. But did they spend more time in orbit than I thought? The right answer might be 6. I was pretty much guessing. So why not use the 50/50 and improve my odds? And so I did. Again, it turned out not to matter. Had I saved it, I'd have used it on the Barbie question anyway.

They tape 4 episodes a day. So do most game shows. The whole "come back tomorrow" thing is a complete lie-- you're usually dashing back to the dressing room, changing into a new set of clothes, and then going back on set to tape another show.

Unless, of course, you're on the last show of the day. Like me.

I had to wait an entire day to get my next question, knowing I had no lifelines left. And I did a LOT of thinking about whether or not I'd throw $32,000 away on a guess if I didn't know the answer.

- Peter

Good going, Peter! We had a lot of fun watching. I can definitely understand about it being easy to second-guess yourself in the hot seat. But you looked pretty calm and collected.

We were singing that line of Grand Old Flag at home right as you were. Paul remembers us taking a Kappa trip to see Do The Right Thing in 1989, so if you'd come with us . . . . But then, I knew that question, but I had absolutely no clue on the Apollo (50-50 wouldn't have done it for me). I guessed Millicent, but with the money at stake, I would've needed a lifeline (and honestly, what lifeline other than a 50-50 would've really helped? Who's gonna know that? Being born female didn't help.). Did Meredith succeed in psyching you out when she acted as though you'd missed questions, or could you tell she was faking?

Did your dad give you a hard time later about the Torah question?

When he woke up this morning, the first thing Jordan said was "Today we'll watch Peter answer more questions." You have an excited 3-year-old rooting for you! He was very pleased that questions involved dinosaurs, Moses and Abraham, and pizza, all things he knows about.

Oh, and when Julian got the Indiana Jones question, I was bummed that it didn't get saved for you, because you and I saw that movie together so I knew you knew it!

Loved the look of relief on your face when you first saw the question about the Minoan civilization. "I know this one!" looked to be what you were thinking, even before you heard the answers.

Re: "government issue"

It doesn't make an enormous amount of sense because it was (supposedly) originally a term applied to supplies, and then adopted by the troops to apply to themselves (during or before WWII).

I say "supposedly" because this is just one theory - another theory is that the "GI" soldiers saw actually stood for something entirely different, they just assumed it meant "government issue," and so on. There are other theories which have nothing to do with "government issue" at all.

So, the answer was not really the correct answer as such, just the "most correct" of the ones presented (the others were all definitely bogus). If that makes you feel any better.

>>Actually, the party is tomorrow. Friday's generally better for that kind of thing than Thursday.

>>Actually, the party is tomorrow. Friday's generally better for that kind of thing than Thursday.

Hi Peter,
Congrads from the Boston area where the show just aired.

If I knew it ended like that, I would have taken more from you at the Gathering poker tables!

Congrads!
Rob Simons

Congratulations!!! Just finished watching part II. I was really impressed with how you handled yourself and all under all the pressure and going through your thought process alound on the questions. I would have guessed Naomi on the final question and was sort of surprised at your not seriously considering it given your thought of Jordan. The milk on black skin idea is a pretty common one. Who's the famous celebrity photographed in a milk bath (just looked it up - Whoopi Goldberg by Annie Leibovitz which is what I thought)? Still, would have been just a guess and I would likely have gone for Elizabeth on the Barbie question and also spent my lifelines (albeit a little differently) and some similar lucky guesses before that point.

In advance of knowing anything, I will take credit for predicting to a bunch of people that I guessed your most likely level would be 250K although in this case, after using up the lifelines early this seemed unlikely. However, I also had the feeling that you were probably very high given the party, parents visit, hyping etc... ;)

Great job!

POST FRIDAY'S EPISODE - *SPOILERS*

CONGRATULATIONS! I was really really worried you weren't going to guess at the $64K question. After all, not only were the pot odds in your favor, the implied pot odds were huge! Also, I knew MT was correct (ahhh...high school concert band) so I knew you'd be heartbroken if you stopped there. I loved your excitement when you saw "Dark and Stormy Night". Be honest though, were you really tempted by Nesbit or were you just trying to build the tension? BTW, a google search for 'first milk mustache celebrity' only comes back with Naomi Campbell on one of the first 50 pages. That was very obscure - but I could see your relief at not having to make a hard decision.

One request. When you write up the list of questions, please put commentary by each so we know what was going through your head.

Congratulations again! That was FANTASTIC!

Woohoo! Congrats! I'd have played it exactly the same way (says the guy watching from the comfort of his living room).

Yes, like the others Congratulations - you really were stellar!

I too would enjoy an "going through your head" commentary with your question list.

Enjoy your family visit!

-- Danielle, Adam and the kids

woo hoo! great job and tons of fun to watch it in a crowd. and now for a bit of photoshop....

http://thanatos47.homestead.com/files/bill.jpg

Very tired. Will follow up in greater detail this weekend. Thanks for all the well-wishes and excitement for me.

Here's the thing... I had absolutely no idea who Naomi Campbell was. I had her pegged as a country singer-- a kind of NAOMI Judd / Glenn CAMPBELL hybrid. Which is why I ruled her out so quickly. Had I remembered she was a black supermodel, I'd have seriously considered her. But I also recalled Armand's 500K question (shown in May, but the first show taped on my first day of taping) asking what game caused the joker to get introduced into the deck in the 1800s. The answer was Euchre, but Poker was up there as a choice. So I might well have regarded Campbell-- the only black person in the field-- as being too obvious. I honestly don't know what I'd have done if I'd known who she was. So I'm kinda glad I didn't know, because given that brain fart there was no way I was going to be choosing her. If I'd known who she was and still didn't choose her, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night.

Speaking of which... must sleep. More later.

- Peter

Hey Peter,

Saw episode ii last night. I missed the first night because of a thunderstorm in my area. You did an awesome job. Congratulations on your win. I guess it will be a long while before we see another copy of the game report... :-) I know I would be taking a very long vacation if I won that kind of moola!!

Take care,
Michael

WOO HOO Peter!! Terrific! Mongo congrats to you. Smart choices.

I knew who Naomi Campbell was and I wouldn't have risked that much money on her - I guessed Tony Bennett but said I would've walked, Paul guessed Naomi Campbell but said he would've walked and would not have been annoyed with himself because it was too big a risk for something he wasn't that sure of.

Did you know Bulwer-Lytton because of the Dark and Stormy Night books we had in college? I still have those on my shelf somewhere!

It was good to see your parents, too. Man, did they look happy!

Peter,

I just wanted to add my congratulations to the long list of well wishers. I know how nervewracking that hot seat is and you handled it like the true pro you are.

Congratulations!
Tim Sternberg

Finally got around to watching the tape (ah, life with a toddler.) Congratulations, Peter. Fun to see you in action again after all these years.

--Michael Fessler, K'90

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