Oct. 27, by Nathaly Pesantez
A Sunnyside woman walked away with $100,000 after appearing as a contestant on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”.
Liz Farley, 38, was just three questions shy from winning the top prize of $1 million on the syndicated show, which aired at 2 pm on Oct. 27, when she walked away. The question, which would have moved her to $250,000, required Farley to pick which countries’ capitals lay the farthest apart out of four possible answers.
“I really thought I might throw up,” Farley, a Sunnyside resident since 2015, said at walking away. “Geography is not my cup of tea. I don’t know where I am half the time.”
In a prior episode that aired on Oct.26, the trivia buff answered 11 questions correctly on a range of topics like Denmark’s history, state flags, gargoyles, and chicken breeds to get to $100,000.
Farley, a director of administration at a university, said she applied to audition for the show in June along with her husband, Dan Wagner, after the host at their favorite trivia night suggested they try out based on their performance during multiple trivia outings.
The Sunnysider said her love for trivia, which she tries to play with her husband every week, came from her family of academics and from watching trivia shows while growing up. “We all know tons of useless information, and I spent a lot of my childhood watching ‘Jeopardy!’,” she said.
The phone call from the show’s producers came a few weeks later in July, who said they wanted to fly her out to Las Vegas to film. “I almost hung up on them,” Farley said. “I didn’t know how to handle it.”
Wagner appeared on the show as Farley’s “plus one”, or someone in the in-show audience who can be called to help Farley.
The Sunnysider says the experience on the show was “weird, fun, and surreal”, and has received tons of support from her family, friends, and co-workers, who all held watch parties for the show.
The hardest part for the couple, however, was not being able to tell others what happened until the show aired today. Farley and Wagner would often resort to “admitting” to one another that they won $100,000 to get it out of their system. “I’m glad I don’t have to keep it a secret,” Farley said.
As far as the prize money, Farley says she has set a “boring” idea for it. “It’s going to retirement and investments,” she said. “New York City is an expensive place to live.”