Antony McManus wins $1m Hot Seat prize
LGBTQIA+ activist Antony McManus calls his win life changing, and explains how Eddie's advice helped him nail the $1m.
LGBTQIA+ activist and charity worker Antony McManus has become only the second person ever to win one million dollars on Hot Seat.
McManus, 57, has described the win as ‘life-changing’ after he successfully answered this million dollar question which screened last night.
Which of these classic literary works was published first?
A: The Count of Monte Cristo
B: A Tale of Two Cities
C: War and Peace
D: Les Misérables
He correctly answered The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, published in 1844.
“To be honest with you, I wasn’t sure of the answer,” he tells TV Tonight.
“Eddie always says, ‘If you’re not sure, which ones can you knock out?’ So I thought the other three all sounded more contemporary.
“I know what The Count of Monte Cristo is about, but I’ve never read it. So that’s why I chose that one. But that question was the one that I was the least sure of.”
McManus went on the show after his mother-in-law noticed he was good at answer questions from the couch. His episode, which was recorded some six months ago, was the last to be filmed before another Melbourne lockdown halted production.
There was no audience in attendance and not even his husband Ron was there to see him answer Fastest Finger First then every question right to the magic million (other contestants passed, leaving the $1m in play). He used his lifeline for the final question to exchange out one on Australian Prime Ministers. It paid off in droves.
“As soon as Eddie started to say ‘You’ve just won a million dollars’ after that everything went in slow motion. I’m not kidding. I was just in so much shock,” he insists.
“Everyone at Hot Seat was so lovely to me and have continued to be. Eddie was fabulous. He pulled me aside at the end, and he had a bit of a chat with me about, ‘Be careful. … people are going to come out of the woodwork.'”
When he got home husband Ron asked how had gone, but Antony showed him the $1000 Fastest Finger First cheque.
“He said, ‘Good on you hon, at least you got that!'” McManus recalls.
“Then I said, ‘I just kept answering questions and they gave me this cheque.’ I handed him the million dollar cheque and he looked at it, and said, ‘Bullshit.’
‘No, really! I’ve really won a million dollars!’
“I swear, it took five minutes for me to convince him!
“I think there were tears. I’m pretty sure we both cried a lot.”
McManus, who has always rented, has since bought a house and a car and hopes to spend more time working for LGTBQIA+ charity Positive Attitude. Both he and Ron have always been active in the gay community, including being married 19 times and becoming “poster children” for marriage equality.
“We had our original commitment ceremony on our sixth anniversary in 1993. We thought that would be as married as we would ever be,” he continues.
“Once we got involved with Equal Love, they had ‘illegal weddings’ at their protest rallies. Then we got invited to go on the Adam Hills Tonight on the ABC where they had a mass wedding.
“Then we were married on Joy FM, and another time at Sydney University. By the time we actually got properly married, it was our 18th ceremony and in my vows, I said, ‘This is the final one. No more.’
“Then three weeks later, we got a phone call from an ad agency asking us to be a TV commercial.
“That was number 19!” he laughs.