Yesterday proved to be a very big payday in afternoon game shows.
Hot Seat gave away its biggest ever cash prize of $540,000 while a Million Dollar Minute contestant declined a $500,000 prize to chase a $750,000 prize.
Hot Seat gave away a total of $540,000 (comprising $20,000 plus a Mega Cash Jackpot of $520,000) to Gerard Lane, 31.
He correctly identified Radiohead as having released the album OK Computer to win the loot. Lane holds four jobs. He is a drama teacher, suit salesman, trivia host and actor.
The money is believed to be the biggest ever cash prize on an afternoon game show, just eclipsing $535,500 won by Dougal “the Human Google” on Million Dollar Minute last October.
But the record may not last long if Million Dollar Minute‘s current contestant Andrew Skarbek is successful. Yesterday he won a staggering $500,000 but chose to play on for the magical million dollars.
Skarbek, already the longest running champ in the history of the show, was diagnosed with MALT Lymphoma 18 months ago. His six month battle with the cancer drained the family’s finances but sparked a new-found fighter’s instinct within.
“In the week I finally beat cancer and was medically given the all clear, I was called up to go on Million Dollar Minute so I feel like this is all happening for a reason,” Andrew said.
“I came here to win one million dollars and that is what I am going to do,” he said.
Host, Simon Reeve, said, “Andrew is clearly one of the best players we’ve ever had so I totally understand why he is going for it.”
Today he becomes the first contestant to play for the $750,000 jackpot, but risks losing $185,500 if he is eliminated.
Both Hot Seat and Million Dollar Minute air at 5:30pm on Nine and Seven, respectively.