Monday, February 22, 2021

What a Way to Win

November 19, 1999. The TV contest: Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Host: Regis Philbin. Contestant: John Carpenter. He won. 

John did not just win the game, he won it with style. He was the first-ever to reach the million-dollar question. There were several lifelines. He did not use any lifelines. But during the very last question, he called his father. 

During the last question, Regis Philbin asked the following question: 

Which of these U.S. presidents appeared on the television series Laugh-In? 

A. Lyndon Johnson 

B. Richard Nixon 

C. Jimmy Carter 

D. Gerald Ford 

He saw the question. Just smiled and called his father for help. When his dad answered the call, the host gave the question to John’s dad and passed the call to John. Here is the conversation between John and his dad. 

John: Hi dad. 

Dad: Hi. 

John: I don’t really need your help. I just want to let you know that I’m going to win the million dollars. Because the President that appeared in Laugh-In is Richard Nixon and that’s my final answer.

John got the right answer in the best possible way. He got to the million-dollar question without using any lifelines, only using it to tell his dad that he knew that answer all along. He’s the first-ever to win the game to top it all off. 

What a way to win.


  1. Truly an awesome win....I am curious to know what happened to all these people who won....after the show.

    1. Thanks for your comments Dee. Probably they are spending their winning money quietly somewhere.

  2. I think I have seen the youtube clip of this famous winning moment. He should've had a gigantic hard-disk of a memory!

    Destination Infinity

  3. Just like how it would be in a movie... He must be a genius!

  4. This is a very interesting nugget of information. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  5. Wow! Everything in his own stylish way. Brilliant job. Thank you for sharing this.