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Stacey Powell's "Just Life" — Who wants to be a millionaire?

August 17, 2012

Everyone dreams of winning the lotto and becoming a millionaire.

And then there are those who watch the ABC Television show, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” (WWTBAM) and think if they were on the show, becoming a millionaire would be a cinch! 
 
I can’t count the number of times my husband and I have yelled out the answers at the television screen when watching WWTBAM from 7 to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. 
 
We get so many right answers that it was a shame they were going to waste in our living room.
 
In 2011, I told the husband that we should try out for WWTBAM and after he rolled his eyes at me, I browsed the website to check for audition dates. Unfortunately, the only west coast auditions for WWTBAM were on the same day over a dozen of my girlfriends were coming into town. 
 
I decided that it would be rude for me to say, “Hey thanks for finally coming up to visit your pal in the mountains but I’m leaving for 24 hours to audition for a television show in Las Vegas. Make yourself at home. See you tomorrow.” 
 
I love my girlfriends too much to do that to them.
 
Fast forward to the summer of 2012.  Again, we were on the couch switching between Jeopardy and WWTBAM yelling out the answers. Some right, some wrong, but at least we were trying. 
 
I turned on the computer, found the WWTBAM website and wouldn’t you know that the only West Coast auditions for WWTBAM were to be in Las Vegas the following week. 
 
I decided right then and there that this was my opportunity to show the producers of the show that I was going to be their next millionaire.  I know it was most inconvenient to leave in the middle of the week, but it was a once-in-a-year opportunity and even if nothing came of it, at least I would have tried.
 
I asked the husband if he wanted to go with me but due to work constraints, he didn’t think he could get away. As the days ticked on I got more and more excited about auditioning. I asked my friend Debby C.B. to come with me because she absolutely loves trivia, but she could not get away, either. 
 
Up until the day before the audition I was planning on going alone but all of a sudden, the husband was able to rearrange a meeting to drive with me to Vegas. He might not audition but he was going to keep me company.
 
We arrived in Las Vegas late the night before and checked into the Stratosphere. We found a cheap Mexican restaurant in the hotel and fell asleep close to midnight. The alarm blared at 5 a.m. and by 6:15 a.m. we were waiting in line in front of the Grand Ballroom at the Elara. I say “we” because my husband decided at the last minute to audition with me. 
 
We are informed that they let 200 people at a time into the room to take a test. We are about 180th in line and got in for the first round. They handed us a big envelope with large, black numbers in the upper right-hand corner. The test was inside.  
 
It’s one of those scanner tests with 30 questions but no matter how many people ask the WWTBAM crew how many you have to get right, they say they don’t want to spill their secrets.  News flash:  I think their secret is that no matter how many you get right on the test if you aren’t jumping up and down like a “Price Is Right” contestant when they throw one of the WWTBAM T-shirts in your direction you aren’t going to get chosen.  
 
They even asked people to come up and dance and the winner got a WWTBAM Wii game. I noticed the producers walking up and down the aisles writing down numbers. It’s a wild guess but I think they were already choosing the folks to make it to the next level before the test even started.
 
Bottom line is that the husband and I were too tired to act like Bob Barker was our new best friend. I guess we weren’t ebullient enough for WWTBAM but at least we were able to keep the cool pencils they gave us for the test.
 
I guess television will always be a mystery. Not “spilling the secrets” really means, “we don’t have any rules, we’re just gonna pick whoever strikes our fancy.”
 
At least we got a Vegas trip out of it.
 
Stacey Powells is a local writer and radio host. She hosts the Exhausted Parent Network Radio Show every Thursday night at 6 p.m. on KMMT. She can be reached at stacey@exhaustedparent.com. For more of her work, visit www.exhaustedparent.com. Her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of the Mammoth Times.
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