So Yeah, I Really Like Game Shows – My Millionaire Experience, Part 3 (The Return Of The Jedi)

(For a refresher, here are parts one and two.)

My goodness, has it been almost two months?? And I left you all hanging? Bad blogger. No cookie.

Anyway, when our heroine last left off, she was waiting in the wings to get on stage. My producer picked me up and went over some of the things I would maybe talk about – my love for geology (though they seemed to think that ‘trilobite’ = ‘bug’ and kind of fixated on the fact that I ‘loved bugs,’ which is incredibly inaccurate) and a few other anecdotes and then kind of threw me to the wolves. I walked on stage as the announcer told the audience who I was and I was just…awed.

(Another anecdote – they had a warm-up comedian, I can’t be bothered to remember the guy’s name, but he was about the least funny person I’ve ever heard. Carl said he was thisclose to punching the guy to get him to shut up.)

What happened from here on is kind of a blur – not only was it months ago, but it was so overwhelming that I haven’t been able to process it all entirely, I don’t think. I met Meredith Viera as they were preparing for commercials and taking a break in filming – she is the nicest, most wonderful and calming woman I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and there wasn’t an air of celebrity about her. She checked with me to see if she was pronouncing my name correctly – she wasn’t – and then after a couple deep breaths, we were filming.

One of the things I told myself going in there was that if I didn’t know the answer, I was going to use a lifeline, but that I had wanted to hold off on using them as much as possible. The syndicated series is a bit different from the Regis days. There’s no more fastest finger, so if they call you to be on the show, you’re getting on. There are two different types of lifeline now – ask the audience, which has been around since the first incarnation of the series, and jump the question. You get two of those. I also told myself that come hell or high water, I was getting to round two.

If you are interested in the questions I was asked, they are all listed here (hopefully mycentraljersey.com won’t be removing the article any time soon) but a few choice questions:

The answer was (quite obviously, at least to me) A.

The answer was (quite obviously, at least to me) A.

That one? Ended up being worth $25,000. When I got that question, I screamed. Then I ran to Carl, who was in the audience waiting for me, and tackled him with a hug. I haven’t seen that kind of money in a very, very long time. This was only my third question, too. The question after that was worth $15,000. It was “double money” week on Millionaire, so the question after that was worth twice as much – so instead of the $2,000 it should have been, I ended up getting $4,000. After THAT? The next question was worth $10,000. So I hit – and answered correctly – all three big money value questions all in a row.

In the green room, before I’d gone on stage, we watched a lot of reruns of the show. Watching all of them I felt more and more confident with the questions they asked, and more and more confident with myself. I knew to strategically use my lifelines, and only on questions I didn’t have any gut feeling for or against – and I feel like I used them wisely. One question asked about how Dixie Cups earned their name – I had NO fucking clue. I skipped that one, and yeah, it was worth $7,000, but you know what? I made it past there.

Upon answering the final question of round one, I knew that unless I was 100% certain of the answer to the next question, I was walking away. I had earned, up to that point, a grand total of $63,500 and I was not about to risk losing that on a guess.

The final question, worth $100,000, was as such:

With 32,256 jigsaw pieces, “Double Retrospect” depicts a montage of 32 works by what artist?

The options? Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Roy Liechtenstein, and David Hockney. I…I had no fucking clue. I at first thought it was Warhol, but without any certainty, I walked away. Turns out the answer was Keith Haring, so had I answered incorrectly, I would have only walked away with $25,000. The part that still gets me about it? My sister knew the answer. If only there was a phone-a-friend still!

*internal screaming*

*internal screaming*

When the show was over, I posed for a few pictures with Meredith, and walked over to fill out my 1099, the tax form for unearned income. (I beg to differ…I DEFINITELY think I earned it.) People from the audience stopped me and hugged me, congratulated me…it was unreal.

The hardest part was keeping quiet. I’d signed a non-disclosure agreement, so I couldn’t tell ANYONE but the people that were there with me…so basically, my boyfriend. And it was SUPER hard to keep that secret, knowing me.

The show aired on November 30, and a huge group of people watched it in the break room at work with me and were in awe. Most of my friends knew that I’d been on the show, but I guess people didn’t realize I would do that well? Either way, it was a huge weight off my shoulders to be able to talk about things in detail finally. It was AWESOME.

The check arrived about two weeks after the show aired. After taxes, I’ll probably end up with well over $40,000 still – enough to cover my student loans and then some. I am a lucky motherfucker for serious.

So, to anyone out there that may be wanting to give it a shot – go for it! What do you have to lose?

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6 responses to “So Yeah, I Really Like Game Shows – My Millionaire Experience, Part 3 (The Return Of The Jedi)

  1. I really wish my DVR would have, you know, actually recorded it. But I did get to watch it on the web finally and IT WAS AWESOME. I’m proud of you, Elyse!

  2. This post is not the first time I’ve heard your story, but here I am crying tears of joy for you AGAIN. HAPPY!!!!!

  3. It’s actually a great and useful piece of info. I am satisfied that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

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