Millionaire contestant finishes with $25,000 and offer to return

By Lynn R. Parks

Patrick Pugh's time on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" did not end Monday night, even though he did not know the answer to the $50,000 question. Because a word was misspelled in his $25,000 question, he will return to the show Nov. 10 for another try at the grand prize. "Patrick was given the option of keeping his $25,000 or returning for a second chance in the Millionaire hot seat, starting at the $16,000 level with all lifelines reinstated," said ABC spokeswoman Trish Miller. "He chose to come back and try his luck again." "It really was a no-brainer," Pugh, 26, said. "I was very happy with the $25,000 but going back, and having all my lifelines, was a plum deal." Pugh's first appearance on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" aired Friday and Monday nights. At the end of the Friday episode, he had $8,000. On Monday, at the $50,000 level, he missed a question about the number of territories that make up the United Arab Emirates. His options were five, six, seven and eight; he chose six and the correct answer was seven. With that one wrong answer, his time in the hot seat was over. Later that night, though, Pugh was contacted by the show and told that "coloratura," a word used in music, was misspelled in his $25,000 question. While show host Meredith Vieira reads all the questions for the contestants, Pugh said, contestants are told to rely on their monitors for the exact wording of the questions. Coloratura was misspelled on Patrick's monitor.

Pugh got the question, which asked what field coloratura is used in, correct. In the process, though, he had to use two lifelines, or calls for assistance from the audience, an expert or a friend. "Even if it had been spelled right, I still wouldn't have known the answer," he said. As he was before Friday's show, Pugh was unable Monday to say how he does in the show that airs Nov. 10 and that was taped Sept. 10. He did say, however, that back at the request of the show's producer will be his Chris Farley imitation, an imitation that he used to do in high school and that he did on both Friday's and Monday's shows. "When I went to New York in May for the audition, the producer told me that I look a lot like a young Chris Farley," the late comedian who started his career on Saturday Night Live, Pugh said. "I said that that was funny, because I used to do an imitation of him in high school. The next time I went up, she asked to see it, then said, 'Well, that's what you're doing on the show.' I did it three times. I guess I'm getting typecast." For Friday's airing of Pugh's premiere appearance, about 40 friends and family members joined him and his parents, Charles and Karen Pugh, at Marina's restaurant in Blades. In addition to Pugh's Farley imitation and several giveaway questions that got him to the $1,000 level, they saw him correctly answer that a circadian rhythm goes over the period of a day and that Styx is the name of a river. When the buzzer sounded to end the episode, they groaned along with the television audience. "It was very weird to hear the sound of my voice and to see my facial expressions," Pugh said Monday. "I don't know that I will ever be able to have a career as a television personality."

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