News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
SUNDAY, APRIL 22, 2007

UNA student wins game-show prize, plans to move to New York

By Kristen Bishop · 340-2443

University of North Alabama student Michael Fisher said he plans to use his winnings from “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” to move to New York and pursue an acting career.

The 21-year-old theater major scored $16,000 while sitting in the hot seat in December. The national television show aired Friday evening.

Fisher, who said he was “hoping (he) didn’t look like an idiot,” watched the show with his family and friends at his mother’s house in Florence, he said.

Fisher made it up to $2,000 on his own, but used his first lifeline on the $4,000 question, which was “What nonprofit group’s ship, The Rainbow Warrior, was sunk by French Secret Service agents in 1985?”

He asked the audience, of whom 79 percent voted for Greenpeace. Fisher went with the audience’s advice and moved up to the next level.

On his $8,000 question, “In a famous scene from ‘Jerry Maguire,’ a boy informs Tom Cruise that what weighs 8 pounds?” Fisher decided to use his 50-50 lifeline that removes two of the incorrect answers.

He correctly chose the human head from his remaining options.

He used his last phone-a-friend lifeline on his $16,000 question, “Which of the following is a type of sedimentary rock?” His options were granite, shale, basalt and slate.

“I called my friend Edward (Monson) because I felt that he would know that,” said Fisher. “He’s one of the smartest people I know.”

His hunch proved to be right. Monson correctly told him the answer was shale, giving Fisher a crack at the $25,000 question.

That question asked which of four years had never appeared on a U.S. quarter. (The answer was 1975.) He decided not to take a guess and walked away with the $16,000 he had already won.

If he had guessed and missed, he would have fallen back to $1,000.

Fisher wasn’t allowed to divulge any details about the outcome until after the show aired and won’t actually see his winnings for about a month.

He said his goal was to win at least $1,000 — enough to cover his travel expenses — and the additional $15,000 will help him pursue his dream of being an actor.

He plans to graduate from college in May and move to New York this summer. His winnings will help him survive in the city while finding theater work, he said.

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