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Friday, 7 October 2016

Meet the People Who Cheated On ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’

I remember first tuning in to Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? back when it first aired. It was a really big deal, because just about anybody could become a millionaire if they were smart enough and knew enough random facts.
It was a fun show to watch with your family and try and answer the questions, declaring how rich you could have been. Well some people decided they really wanted that to be true, to the point of cheating. Want to know how? Don’t worry, you’re about to find out.

This Man Cheated On 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire'

While not the original trivia-based game show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is definitely one of the most memorable.

I know the answer to that question always included my name. I want to be a millionaire!

The show originally aired in 1998 with the unforgettable Regis Philbin as the host with the most.

Especially when he fist bumped or whatever it is he’s doing here. Right?

But over the years there have been a number of hosts, from the first replacement Meredith Vieira to the terrific Terry Crews.

I would never have thought to make him a game show host, and yet here we are – and it is awesome.

But there is one thing that all of those hosts would readily agree on. And that is that no one should cheat on their game show.

Unlike this woman, who lost the old fashioned way: not knowing the answer.

Well, there was one man who accomplished just that…

This is Major Charles Ingram. He was a contestant on the British version of the game show back in 2001. He ended up winning the grand prize, but it was called into question…

He’s gained a bit of notoriety since then.

A lot of people would call this cheating.

See, the issue was that Ingram planted both his wife and a friend in the audience and told them to cough as he read out answers, telling him which one was correct.

This went about as well as you would expect once they were discovered. The group was brought to court and charged with “procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception,” which is a fancy way of saying fraud.

As has always been said, cheaters never win.

But not all of the stories have that much doom and gloom. Some definitely have a very different ending.

Kind of like Slumdog Millionaire, sometimes these shows have very strange stories behind them.

There’s also the story of Khaled El-Katateny, a contestant on the Australian version of the show, Millionaire Hotseat.

Can I take this opportunity to say I’m not a fan of the leopard print shirt? Because I’m not.

The 19-year-old law student admitted that he made guesses on his answers based on the reactions of the host, Eddie McGuire, as well as the audience he could see, claiming he played the man and not the game.

I wish I could read people that well – it’d probably make me a hit at parties!

While El-Katateny referred to it as “cheating sort-of,” he was allowed to keep his winnings, since what he did wasn’t actually against any of the rules.

It’s definitely an indirect way of doing it, but hey, if it works.

This Man Cheated On 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire'

And then there are some cheating stories that are a mix of both of these tales. Although for this story, we have to switch game shows entirely.

The gentleman in yellow here is Terry Kniess. That number he guessed was the exact answer down to the dollar. Unsurprisingly, people were suspicious of this, but Kniess argued he was good at pattern recognition and had watched the show every day for a year.

He also claimed he was a card counter, a superb blackjack player, memorized Showcase Showroom item prices, and had other relevant talents to help him.

The other running theory is that another super player, Ted Slauson, was in the audience and was communicating with Kniess via hand signals.

I’m just picturing SWAT team hand signals, and applying that to The Price Is Right is making me laugh. Slauson was a regular attendee and had encyclopedic knowledge of Showcase Showroom prices, which would definitely come in handy.

Kniess denies there was any foul play involved, and was never found guilty of anything. And even if Slauson was involved, it isn’t cheating – audience participation is actually encouraged on The Price Is Right.

Unlike Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. It’s all about the game and how you play it.

So for all you game show fans out there, remember there are always ways to improve your game and your chances without having to resort to cheating.

Keep your hopes up – victory can always be yours!

Know anybody else who aspires to win it big on a game show? SHARE this with them!

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