Andrew Hutchings is a 5th year Graduate student in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering. He recently traveled to New York City to tape an episode of the syndicated edition of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
daze: How were you selected for Millionaire?
Andrew Hutchings: They were doing auditions over the summer in Cleveland or Manhattan. I went to Cleveland. The auditions were in a hotel near the rock and roll hall of fame. They took 240 people at a time. They take you in and give you a 30 question multiple choice test. 10% of the people passed. Once you pass you have an interview and fill out interesting info about yourself. They make sure you’re camera worthy and they send you home.You find out if you’re going to be on a few weeks later.
daze: Have you ever been on any other quiz shows?
AH: I was in the Jeopardy! College tournament. Last year I taped Win Ben Stein’s Money . They were looking for a new co-host at the time (they ended up with Jimmy Kimmel’s cousin). My episode should air in November.
daze: Who’s cooler, Alec ‘secretly Will Ferrell’ Trebek , Meredith ‘I don’t wear underwear’ Viera or Ben ‘Bueller’ Stein?
AH:Ben Stein was the nicest and introduced himself and offered us food.
daze: Are the lights and music as annoying as they look on TV?
AH: It’s not as in your face. It wasn’t that distracting. Although the set is kind of weird, lots of glass and a sort of disco vibe. They must go through a lot of windex.
daze: Is there a time limit on questions?
AH: No hard and fast limit but they say it’s unfair to the crew and other contestants to take too long.
daze: How strange were the other contestants?
AH: Mostly ok. They try to encourage regular people. There was a firefighter who went after me.
daze: Did you have a strategy?
AH: Actually Meredith made fun of me for this. I work with applied math, so I set up a model. Based on your assumptions about the game, If you know the probability of getting the questions right you can devise your optimal game; when to use each life line, etc.
daze: Is there something you wish you had done differently?
AH: I’m not really sure — besides doing better. It’s always easier from your couch.
Archived article by Erica Stein