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The phenomenon that started the great game show revolution of the new millennium has returned to primetime!

Recaps by Agent Josh & Don Harpwood, GSNN

Host Regis Philbin
Creators David Briggs
Mike Whitehill
Steve Knight
EP Michael Davies
Packager 2waytraffic & Valleycrest TV for ABC Studios
Origins ABC Television Center East, New York City
Web www.millionairetv.com  
Airs 8p Sun thru Thurs, ABC
Available Streaming Online

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Night 11
August 23

Last time, Jim Robinson (Columbus, MS) made it to $16,000, and he has Phone a Friend, Double Dip, and Ask the Expert still available. On this final night of the show's 10th Anniversary run, how far will he go, and what else could possibly happen?

Tonight's Expert: Bill Nye, the Science Guy! He's been the Expert a number of times on the daytime version, and he's very good.

[Since we didn't get to see Jim's categories until tonight's show, those for the first 9 questions he faced on Thursday, in the order that he faced them, were: Aw, Shoot; Built to Drive, U.S. Holidays, Barbie, Just My Type, In The Shade, What Am I?, Mother Teresa, and Old Yeller.]

[$25,000] (Comedy Catchphrases)
In a much-quoted "SNL" sketch, Christopher Walken plays a 1970s record producer who demands what from his band?
A: Extra triangle!
B: Louder tambourine!
C: Another gong!
D: More cowbell!

Unfamiliar with that sketch, Jim calls his brother, Christian. After Regis mistakenly calls him Bill (who was also on Jim's PAF list), Christian says it's D, with 100% certainty. Jim trusts him... and he has $25,000!

[$50,000] (Indie Cred)
Where are the West Indies?
A: Just south of Thailand
B: Just north of Venezuela
C: Just west of Australia
D: Just east of Somalia

Jim knows that it's B... and he's right!

Jim is an assessment coordinator.

[$100,000] (Ticket Master)
As of August 1, what is the top-grossing movie in the U.S. in 2009?
A: Up
B: Star Trek
C: The Hangover
D: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

After ruling out C, Jim uses the Double Dip. His first guess is A... which is wrong. His second guess, with 6 seconds left, is B... which is also wrong! It's D! That means Jim will have to settle for $25,000.

Time for one of these ten contestants to get into the Hot Seat...

Ken Basin (Los Angeles, CA)
Karen Geddeis (Elmhurst, IL)
Brian Peterkin (Brooklyn, NY)
Russell Carmon (Bryan, TX)
Kazia MacLeod (San Diego, CA)
Melissa Brown (Syracuse, NY)
Alan Carver (Federal Way, WA)
Will Capp (Tampa, FL)
London Pfahler (Upland, CA)
Matt Sittel (Bellevue, NE)

This Fastest Finger question will determine who gets the next shot...

Put these U.S. states in order of their total population, starting with the smallest.
A: Wyoming
B: Delaware
C: Pennsylvania
D: North Carolina

The correct order is ABDC, and the winner is... Ken Basin! He runs around the stage, high-fiving the other 9 before entering the Hot Seat! He's a 24-year-old entertainment lawyer, and he's been one for less than a year. Let's play!

[$100] (Selling It)
In a straightforward 2008 ad campaign, Michelob used the slogan "Crafting a Better" what?
A: Coffee
B: Soda
C: Beer
D: Double chin

Ken goes with C, and he's on his way.

[$200] (In the Shower)
Hair products known as "2-in-1s" are typically a combination of shampoo and what?
A: Toothpaste
B: Conditioner
C: Shaving cream
D: Deodorant

Ken says the others would be interesting, but he'd buy B.

[$300] (It's Elemental)
On the periodic table, what is the only element that is named after a U.S. state?
A: Europium
B: Neptunium
C: Californium
D: Einsteinium

Named after his home state, he knows it's C.

[$500] (Award Shows)
In 2009, what entertainment awards show announced that it was expanding its pool of "Best Picture" nominees from five films to ten?
A: Tonys
B: Emmys
C: Grammys
D: Oscars

Considering where he lives, he has to know that it's D.

[$1,000] (UPS)
To maintain its vast fleet of delivery vehicles, each year UPS uses thousands of gallons of what color paint?
A: Brown
B: Blue
C: Red
D: Green

It is of course A, and Ken has secured $1,000!

Ken actually graduated from high school at 16, then spent 4 years at U.S.C. before going to law school at Harvard Law. In the audience is his girlfriend, Pam, who mentions that they met at law school. Also, Ken has been to 6 of the 7 continents, and he's hoping to go to the last one, Antarctica, before turning 25.

[$2,000] (Phrase Origins)
Which of these expressions comes from golf and not baseball?
A: Right off the bat
B: Par for the course
C: Step up to the plate
D: Out of left field

Ken wastes no time in going with B... and he's right!

[$4,000] (From the Swahili)
What popular game's name is derived from a Swahili word meaning "to build"?
A: Scrabble
B: Jenga
C: Boggle
D: Dominoes

Though he feels it's more about destroying than building, Ken says it's B... and it is!

[$8,000] (Grandmas)
What 2009 big screen comedy features Betty White as a wacky grandmother?
A: I Love You, Man
B: The Proposal
C: Paul Blart: Mall Cop
D: The Hangover

Ken picks B... and he got it!

[$16,000] (A Talented Life)
Reflecting on a career that brought him worldwide fame, Garry Kasparov penned a 2007 book titled "How Life Imitates" what?
A: Cooking
B: Tennis
C: Chess
D: Fashion

Ken says his Russian parents would be upset if he didn't know this. He goes with C... and he does indeed know it!

[$25,000] (Spell It Out)
Which of these historical names can be spelled out by writing three U.S. state abbreviations in a row?
A: STALIN
B: CAESAR
C: GANDHI
D: DARWIN

After naming the states - Georgia, North Dakota, and Hawaii - Ken locks in C... and he has $25,000!

Ken hopes to use some of his winnings to give his parents, who moved to the U.S. in 1982, a trip to Rome. As for how Ken and Pam met, their mutual friend, Jessie, introduced them to each other in their first year at law school, since they were both on Jeopardy! Now would be a good time to mention, by the way, that that's Pam Mueller, who made it all the way to the semifinals of the Ultimate Tournament of Champions.

[$50,000] (He's a Keeper)
Which member of the Obama Cabinet held the same job in George W. Bush's administration?
A: Robert Gates
B: Ken Salazar
C: Timothy Geithner
D: Steven Chu

Ken goes with the Secretary of Defense, A... and he's right!

[$100,000] (Listen Carefully)
In the 1984 movie "Gremlins," which of the following is not one of the three rules for taking care of the creature Mogwai?
A: Don't get him wet
B: Keep him out of bright light
C: Never feed him after midnight
D: Don't let him sleep too much

After saying that it's not A or C, Ken uses the Double Dip. His first answer is D... which is right!

[$250,000] (In the Middle)
If you want to take a vacation to the "Geographic Center of North America," you should pack up your car and drive to what U.S. state?
A: North Dakota
B: Texas
C: Colorado
D: Wyoming

Though he's not 100% sure, Ken does have an answer in mind. Deciding to save his lifelines, he picks A... and he is correct!

Time for one more flashback! Remember in the first season of the daytime version of Millionaire, when Nancy Christy correctly said that artist Grant Wood used his dentist as the model for the farmer in his painting "American Gothic", to become the first (and so far, only) woman in the U.S. to win the million dollars on the show? She's in the audience tonight! What is her advice? "You know more than you think you do. Trust yourself."

So far, Ken is doing extremely well. Let's see how much further he'll get...

[$500,000] (Making Headlines)
What film actress's death was reported on the front page of the debut issue of USA Today?
A: Audrey Hepburn
B: Marlene Dietrich
C: Grace Kelly
D: Greta Garbo

Unsure of this, Ken calls his friend, Jerome. By the way, that's Jerome Vered, who made it all the way to the finals of Jeopardy's Ultimate Tournament of Champions. After noting that it's not B or D because those were in the '90s, Jerome says C, but he's only 35% sure. Ken then decides to ask the Expert. Bill says that C was before USA Today, B was a WWII person, though he doesn't know how long she lived, and D was before that. So, he'd say A through that reasoning. Bill then adds that USA Today debuted shortly after the disco era. With all that, Ken thinks for a moment, then locks in C with 5 seconds on the clock... and he's right! (Grace Kelly died in 1982.)

When he was on Jeopardy, Ken won one game in a College Tournament, so he had won $5,000. What does Regis think of that? "Peanuts!" It's hard to disagree with that when Ken's now in a position like this. He has just one question to go, and it's the big one! We haven't seen a million dollar question since November 2007, and this is the first one since the rule changes were implemented in the past season of the daytime version. It has been years since the last time someone completed all 15 questions to win the million dollars (Nancy Christy being the last one to do so). Will Ken be the one to end the drought?

2 things to keep in mind, here...
- Through the first 14 questions, Ken had banked a total of 3 minutes and 54 seconds. That time will now be added to the 45 seconds here, setting the golden clock (which is what I'll be calling it here because at this level, the on-screen clock is, well, golden) at 4:39.
- Ken still has Ask the Audience available.

[$1 MILLION] (Bottoms Up!)
For ordering his favorite beverages on demand, LBJ had four buttons installed in the Oval Office labeled "coffee," "tea," "Coke" and what?
A: Fresca
B: V8
C: Yoo-hoo
D: A&W

First, we find out what Regis would pick for his button: some warm milk. Then, after noting that this isn't one of those questions where one could reason out the answer, Ken asks the audience. The golden clock is stopped at 3:36.

A: 15%
B: 12%
C: 40%
D: 33%

Interesting results, there. It turns out that his instinct was saying C. Ken takes his time, thinking about this one. Eventually, he asks himself what he would regret more: thinking he might know it, but not going for it and possibly missing out on an extra $500,000, or going for it and possibly losing $475,000? It is a tough decision for him. Then, after some more time, Ken says that there's a saying in law school, which states that people who go to law school are risk-adverse, while people who go to business school are risk-loving. He then adds that maybe he should have gone to business school!

Then, Ken says the following...

"I'm gonna ask a favor. I'm gonna ask that the audience starts cheering in advance and just stops abruptly if I get it wrong, because C, final answer, give me the million dollars."

With that statement, Ken has locked in C: Yoo-hoo as his answer. He still had 1:12 left on the golden clock. Is he right?

Regis' response...

"No, itís not the final answer. You just lost a lot of money."

The correct answer is A: Fresca! Ken has become the first player in the history of this show in the U.S., daytime or primetime, to get the final question for a million dollars wrong!

Understandably, he sits back, dejected. But hey, he still leaves with $25,000, and I think he showed that he had a lot more guts than I'll ever have when he took such a huge risk and trusted his instinct (as well as the audience vote)!

But now, we turn to tonight's celebrity guest. Regis has kept it a secret throughout the show, but this wasn't a hard one to predict. She is the host of the daytime version of Millionaire, Meredith Vieira! They talk about what had just happened, with Meredith saying that she had no clue, and thought the audience would've been right. Then, Meredith reveals a couple of surprises. Firstly, the remaining 9 contestants in the Ring of Fire tonight will become the first 9 contestants of Season 8 of the daytime version of Millionaire! Secondly, she reveals that she's not the one who will play for charity tonight; it'll be Regis!

Thankfully, Regis did have something in mind that he'll play for tonight: Cardinal Hayes High School, which he went to many years ago. It is now fighting to stay alive, so he wants to help out as much as he can. Meredith then reveals that two people are standing by, whom Regis can call for the Phone a Friend lifeline: Alan Alda and Donald Trump! As always, $25,000 is guaranteed, but a right answer here will double that...

[$50,000]
Which of the following has never been the answer to a winning million dollar question on the primetime version of "Millionaire"?
A: Richard Nixon
B: Peru
C: The Grapes of Wrath
D: 93 million

A rather fitting question, but at first, Regis can't remember. Meredith then reminds him of John Carpenter, and that's when he remembers that A was the answer Carpenter gave to win the million. Regis then remembers that D was also a winning answer. Since he now has it down to B and C, Regis uses the Double Dip! His first answer is B... which is wrong. His second answer is C... which is right! $50,000 goes to Cardinal Hayes High School!

And that is a wrap for this primetime run celebrating 10 years of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire! The daytime version will return in September for its 8th season. Until then, good night!

To play along with the contestants live, or to see this episode in its entirety, go to www.abc.com/primetime/millionaire.