“Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” (Part 1)

In life, it’s all about the journey. Where are you going? Where have you been? Well, October 31, 2011, I made the journey to New York City to audition for “Millionaire.” There is a novelty in taking a day trip to “live it up” yet still be back in time for work.

Halloween morning began with excitement at 4:30am in Eppley Airfield. Insert many New York song references here. Two flights later, I was in the ‘city that never sleeps’. Little did I know that would be me for the next 24 hours! I hailed a cab (how exciting) outside of the airport to take me to ABC Studios for 2 tapings and a contestant audition. And finally—there it was, in all of its glory: ABC Studios. Share the joy with me:

Once there, I had some time so I grabbed a quick bite and walked around Central Park taking in the atmosphere of another big city. Then, it was back in line for “Millionaire”.

After waiting in line for what felt like an hour (it was only 10 minutes), they allowed us in the studio! Of course, it looked nothing like what you and I see on television but was still very exciting! I met a woman from Florida who was also in town for “Millionaire”, thus we decided to sit together for both tapings and the audition. Neither she nor I had been to a taping before so I’m glad we had each other.

Finally, Meredith Vieira, host of syndicated “Millionaire”, took the stage and we began tapings. She was sweet in person like she is on television. Cue lights, music, applause, and contestants! Within the 2 tapings, we saw 3 contestants try to win a million. They seemed quite calm, too, for playing a game with a cash prize. Of course, each time the contestants asked the audience, we picked up our keypads and gave our guess. What I found surprising was the amount of talking amongst the audience, especially about the answers. Regardless we helped each contestant win upwards of $50,000. The tapings finally came to an end and it was time for the audition to be a contestant…

Sealed envelopes and #2 pencils were passed out to each audience member. “You have 10 minutes to answer 30 multiple choice questions,” the producer said. 20 seconds per question. Wow, you either know it or you don’t. I took the forms out of the envelope and began. No one said the quest to be on the show was going to be easy…




About the author: Josh Wooster

I was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, where I attended Millard West High School. I chose Hastings College because it gave students personal attention, extracurricular options, and music ensembles better than those of other colleges in the state. I am currently the leader of 1-2-5, the men’s a-cappella singing ensemble, while also being a part of the Hastings College Choir and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the men’s music fraternity. Other commitments include being an intern for the Hastings Chamber of Commerce and membership in the Student Environmental Action Coalition and Society for Collegiate Journalists. “Free time” for me involves arranging music for 1-2-5, working at the Lochland Country Club, and searching for a job. I am a jovial spirit with a diligent attitude towards work, and a keen eye for detail. I hope to stick around Hastings after college to work and give back to the city and college that have offered me so much.

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