WTSP anchors win $5,000 on Who Wants to be a Millionaire
Good news first: WTSP-Ch. 10 morning anchors Ginger Gadsden and Keith Jones earned $5,000 for area chapters of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association during a special edition of Who Wants to be a Millionaire? featuring TV news anchors.
The bad news: That $5,000 was a consolation prize after the duo missed their eighth question, valued at $10,000, when they already had $52,000 accumulated. Had they walked away without answering the question, Jones and Gadsden would have earned half their accumulated cash, or $26,000. In the syndicated show's ninth season, producers have rejiggered the rules so that the first 10 questions can be worth anything from $100 to $25,000; anyone who leaves competition after the first 10 questions can keep all their accumulated bank. TV anchors were guaranteed at least $5,000 for their special week of episodes, dubbed "Play it forward," though typical contestants only leave with $1,000 if they fail in the first round.
The pair missed a question labeled "funny firsts": "The 1909 short Mr. Flip is believed to include the first instance of what comedy gag captured on film? Answers: a) sitting on a whoopee cushion; b) pie in the face; c) kick in the groin; d) slipping on a banana peel.
Gadsden and Jones trusted the audience, which picked "D." Unfortunately, the answer was "B" -- pie in the face. The two had already correctly answered questions ranging from the date Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria has tattooed on her wrist in roman numerals (her wedding date, July 7) and the rock star who got a nickname from wearing a black and yellow sweater (Sting).
"Don't trust the audience ever again," joked Gadsden during WTSP's 5 p.m. news, recounting the experience. "We felt like we were losing our own money. We didn't want to shame Tampa too much."
The episode, hosted by Today co-anchor Meredith Vieira, aired at 4 p.m. today on WTSP; anchors from other parts of the country will be featured through next Monday.