However, just before answering, Ingram’s doubts reappeared. He seemed suddenly aware of the enormity of the risk he was taking. Instead of forgoing the money, he repeated the word “googol” one more time. And then it came – like all the confirmation that he needed – the cough.
Despite not knowing what a “googol” was, Ingram seemed not the least bit worried. His eyes were bright with excitement and he seemed the surest man in the world like he had been the one to coin the term “googol.” But he hadn’t. He didn’t even know what it was. But he answered “googol” as his final answer.
Charles Takes a Gamble
Now, of course, if you’re playing a quiz game casually with friends you can make a random guess because the stakes aren’t exactly high. But Major Ingram was sitting on £500,000. A wrong guess would leave him £468,000 poorer. Of course, the right answer would make him £1,000,000. But it all boiled down to the fact that Ingram had no idea what the answer was.
However, after hearing a second cough – conveniently occurring at the mention of “googol” – suddenly, Ingram seemed certain. He went from being on the brink of calling it quits to confident in a matter of seconds – despite never hearing of a “googol.” While it’s not enough reason for most people to take such an incredible gamble, it was enough for Ingram.
Tarrant Starts to Lose It
It was clear that Tarrant’s patience was beginning to fade. Major Ingram confessed that he did not know what a “googol” was, but said this was he was one opportunity to win £1,000,000. Of course, Tarrant, dished out the truth to the major with a bit of sass, saying it was also the major’s first opportunity to lose £468,000.
Tarrant also summed up Ingram’s rationale saying, “You’ve got £500,000. You’re going for the one you’ve never heard of just because you’ve never heard of it.” The entire studio was wrapped in laughter at this point. It was like some kind of crazy joke. But like a joke without a punchline, for the final question Major Ingram answered “googol.”
The Ingrams Celebrate
And after the break – the very long, long break – it cut back to Ingram in the hot seat and Tarrant who was seated across from him. In a booming voice, Tarrant announced that “googol” was indeed the right answer. And more importantly, Major Ingram had just won £1,000,000. Ingram celebrated wildly as Tarrant congratulated the successful contestant.
Next, Diana Ingram was welcomed onto the main area of the studio where she could celebrate her husband’s victory. Diana looked stunned, shocked, and at a loss. In her shoes, who wouldn’t have been? In an incredulous turn of events, Major Ingram had become the third winner of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”
The Producers Were Furious
To say the show’s producers were suspicious was an understatement. “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” producers refused to pay the Major his prize winnings. Ingram’s route to the £1,000,000 just raised too many flags. With that kind of money at stake, no former contestants took such risks.
It was like Major Ingram had been given all the cheat codes to an extremely difficult or near-impossible game. Of course, this was what had been in the minds of the producers. The episode wasn’t aired. Instead, the producers used the recording to go through the night’s events and see if they could pick up anything strange.