Regis and the bRat Pack

I don’t vote for American Idol. I don’t call Seacrest or text message him on my AT&T wireless phone. I’ve never auditioned for Survivor, though I did give about two seconds of thought to applying for The Benefactor. I’ve never even found my way to a local Jeopardy casting call. I’m typically not one for reality TV or for game shows. But I have this one vice…

Back when Who Wants to be a Millionaire? made its first run, I got curious and made about four attempts to qualify by phone. And I did qualify, at least as much as it was up to me. If you don’t know how it works, you call a toll free number and a robot guy asks you sequence questions, much like the fastest finger part of the show only without Regis or the national television audience. The questions have four answers, each one corresponding to a number on your keypad (1,2,3,4). You have ten seconds to correctly answer each question. Once you get one wrong, you’re done. To qualify, you have to get them all right. It seems like it was only four questions on the first run of the show, but I may be wrong about that. Now that it’s Super Millionaire, it’s five questions. Anyway, a few years ago I made it through all the questions and advanced to the next round. As it turns out, that just meant I got put in a pool with all the other eggheads who got through the questions. They never called my number, and I’m not a millionaire.

So as you may have guessed, I’ve been sucked in again this time around. I think it’s worth saying that, for me anyway, the draw really is as much the competitive (even self-competitive) aspect of the game as the money. I still love and want money more than I should, but not as much as I used to (or at least I hope that’s true). I’ve never had much money, so I don’t think I seriously entertain the prospect of winning a million bucks, much less ten million. I just watch the show and rant about how I could school most of the folks in the hot seat. Oh, and I absolutely thrash on the fastest finger questions. Really. My wife thinks I’m an uber-genius based on this fact alone. Which is a fitting segue to —

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