I'm a big fan of the show, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," both the reruns on the Game Show Network and the daytime version on ABC. I check it out every once in a while, and I was watching it today, and I saw something truly amazing, and it left me shaking my head.
A woman was on the show and had just gotten through the first five questions ("The Idiot Questions" as I call them) and reached the $1000 plateau. The $2000 question was a real gimme question, and anybody who graduated from grammar school could have gotten this one right.
"If the sun rises at 7:14 in the morning and sets at 5:11 in the afternoon, how much sunlight will have there been during the day?"
Quick addition would bring the answer, "9 hours and 57 minutes" which was one of the choices. But this woman was so flustered by the question (rarely have I seen anyone react to a question like this on the show), and said to host Meredith Vieira, "I was hoping there would be no math questions." She didn't even resort to using a lifeline, which were still available to her. She didn't attempt to try to do it in her head, she just took a wild stab at it and got it wrong.
I've noticed over the years that game shows (especially "Jeopardy") may get some really intelligent people on it, but they also get some really strange ones as well. I can't say this woman was strange, but I've never seen someone almost fall apart like that over a simple math question. She didn't seem nervous about being on TV. I guess math isn't her forte.
But I am truly amazed that a woman like this got on the show. I tried out for the daytime edition of the show a number of years ago when it first debuted in syndication, and the test to get on was extremely difficult, and I didn't make the first cut. (They didn't tell you the score of your test, just whether you reached the passing grade. And they didn't even tell us what the passing grade was.) They asked questions on subjects all across the board, like science, politics, history, sports, literature, and yes, even math.
I think it might be time to take another stab at getting on the show. Maybe they've eased up on the test a bit, and I can get on. If this woman can get on...
UPDATE: I've since checked the "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire" web site, and they will be holding contestant auditions for next season's shows in mid-April (which is right around now). I want to thank that lady for inspiring me today, as I'm going to try to get on.