Game shows are notorious for providing unexpected moments. Here are five of the best moments in game show history.
1: “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” – John Carpenter
John was the first person to win $1 million on the hit game show. What makes him so memorable is that he didn’t need to use any of his lifelines leading up to the million dollar question. Once the final question was asked by Regis Philbin, Carpenter used his phone-a-friend lifeline to call his father – not for help but to let him know that he was going to win the million dollars (triviahalloffame.com).
2: “Jeopardy” – Ken Jennings
Who could forget this software engineer from Utah? When “Jeopardy” changed the rules of the game, allowing champions to stay on the show as long as they kept winning, Jennings made history with his 74-game winning streak over the course of six months (ken-jennings.com). In that time, he accumulated $2.52 million in prize money, a record for the show.
3: “Wheel of Fortune” – Michelle Loewenstein
The first person to ever win $1 million on this longstanding game show made it look effortless. Loewenstein landed on the million dollar wedge on her first spin, never went bankrupt during the game, and found herself in the bonus round upon winning (gameshows.about.com). With the million dollar envelope chosen from the bonus wheel and the puzzle easily solved, Michelle became a very rich lady!
4: “1 vs. 100” – Jason Luna
A 21-year old male went up against 100 females in a “Battle of the Sexes” episode of this game show hosted by Bob Saget. A self-proclaimed “loser” for having never had a girlfriend, Luna had a seeming lack of knowledge about the opposite sex, but that did not keep him from winning $1 million on the show. He defeated the final fifteen women by knowing that the biggest card-giving holiday of the year is Christmas (gameshows.about.com).
5: “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” – Robby Roseman
Usually the first question on “Millionaire” is the easiest, right? Not so for Robby Roseman. He stunned the audience, and himself, when answering incorrectly to his opening question about what animals Hannibal used to cross the Alps (loogaroo.startlogic.com). He utilized his 50/50 lifeline, leaving him with two options: elephants or llamas. He chose llamas, and was sent on his way. Those first questions aren’t always universally known, it would seem!