Saturday, August 3, 2013

Mamma Mia

Everybody remembers John Carpenter and his run to the first top prize on Millionaire. Of course, he burned the phone-a-friend lifeline on the last question simply to tell his father, with a smirk, that he was gonna win the big money.

Miami lawyer Dan Blonsky suffered the (in some ways) unenviable fate of becoming the second million-dollar winner. Not that he cried too much over taking down all that loot. But relatively few people recall Dan, or how phone-a-friend saved his game show bacon on the 500K question.

Luckily, Jeff Crockett (see the link), one of Dan's partners in his law firm, knew that a winsome picture of Mia Farrow graced the first cover of People magazine. Nowadays, with Google on a high-speed Net link, it takes maybe five seconds to type "People magazine first cover" and get back a bunch of pictures of Mia. That's why the lifeline has gone the way of buggy whips. Technology marches on. (And who knows, maybe Jeff used a primitive computer search to come up with the answer.)

The final question was anticlimactic, a surprising gimme about the distance of the Earth from the Sun. Dan nailed it no-sweat, and the rest is somewhat forgotten game show history.


  1. This is off topic from the sidebar but GSN sent me the first 14 minutes of an episode of The Chase featuring contestants Moly, Christian and Aaron earlier in the week. The E-mail stated I could not transfer the video in any shape or form on the website.

    They send you anything, around Tuesday (7/30)?

    The same thing happened with the second season of American Bible Challenge in March, where I got a preview/spoiler.

  2. No, I didn't get any video from GSN. Alex Davis got 34 seconds of The Chase that he posted on BuzzerBlog. Naturally, some of his readers started judging the show from that snippet. And just as naturally, Alex used his twitter feed to fire back at those readers.

    Alex seems to have a pretty testy relationship with a lot of the folks who visit his site (wink).