Chambersburg woman to appear on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire'

October 25, 2007|By HEATHER KEELS

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - It all started one night at Dilly's when a customer struck up a conversation about applying to be a game show contestant.

Three months later, Chambersburg bartender Anita Miller found herself in the hot seat on the New York City set of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire," wondering what she'd gotten herself into.

Now, after weeks of fighting to keep her lips sealed as friends pestered her about how much she'd won, Miller will soon be able to share the details of her moment in the spotlight.

The episode featuring Miller is scheduled to air at 10 a.m. Monday on WHP-TV 21 (cable channel 6 in the Chambersburg area) and at 4 p.m. Monday on WUSA-TV, Channel 9.


Miller said she plans to watch the episode at the place where it all began. Dilly's, at 642 Lincoln Way West, which opens for breakfast at 7 a.m., will have the episode on its big-screen TV Monday morning, and several of Miller's co-workers plan to meet for breakfast and watch it together. Dilly's owner Dell Mills said he plans to tape the show and play it again at 7 p.m.

Until then, Miller isn't allowed to give away any details about the outcome. Still, as the curly-haired blonde made her way around the bar Wednesday night, customers had their guesses. She must not have won enough to quit her job, one man speculated - unless she was waiting so she wouldn't give anything away.

Miller, 30, said she has always enjoyed watching shows like "Jeopardy!" and "Millionaire," but had never considered applying until a customer mentioned how easy it was.

The audition process involved taking a 30-question multiple choice test and attending an interview with the producers in Manhattan. A few weeks later, Miller got a postcard saying she'd been selected for the contestant pool.

That's when she started watching the show on TV religiously - and getting nervous.

"You couldn't tear me away from it," Miller said. "They would ask a question I didn't know the answer to, and I'd be like, 'Oh my god, how am I going to do this?'"

Still, Miller, who has a 14-month-old daughter with her husband, Seth, said she didn't have time to do much preparation, and wouldn't have known what to study even if she had.

Miller brushed up on some pop culture, and she said she selected fellow bartender Randy Sowers as a "phone a friend" lifeline in hopes that he could bail her out on sports, her weakest subject.

It was a lucky week to be on the show, publicist Trisha Miller said, because in celebration of the show's 1,000th episode, contestants were allowed to skip the first five questions, meaning they were guaranteed to win at least $1,000 and begin only 10 questions away from winning $1 million.

One of the biggest surprises, Miller said, was how small the studio was. It looks gigantic on TV, she said, but in reality there are only four rows of seats and the entire studio is not much bigger than the area behind the bar at Dilly's.

That didn't keep her from being nervous. As the lights came on, she said she was flooded with dread that she would be one of those contestants who gets an easy question horribly and inexplicably wrong.

"This is not like me at all," she said. "I'm not someone who likes to draw a lot of attention to myself or take risks of looking stupid in front of a lot of people."

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