She learned by postcard that she had made the cut and was invited back to the Big Apple.
Taping was behind schedule on Aug. 3 and she had to return a few days later for her turn on the hot seat opposite Vieira.
"It looks like she's saying, 'Mommy, win a million dollars,'" Vieira said when Maya's photo was flashed on screen. Then, the hostess posed the first of the 15 questions that must be answered to win a million bucks.
The opening questions are no-brainers, the first being a "tongue-in-cheek" term for short.
The answer: Vertically challenged.
She breezed through five questions to pile up $1,000, but the sixth had her - and her friends in Dilly's - scratching their heads: Something in a state of disarray is often said to be at what numbers?
Miller had to go to her first lifeline, asking the studio audience for help. More than 40 percent picked "at sixes and sevens." More than 30 percent chose another answer.
The former seventh-grade science teacher took the audience's choice and moved on to the next question to the clapping and cheers of some folks at the bar. A couple of relatively easy questions followed, but the $16,000 question was tougher: A word meaning deceive that is shared by a bird.
The contestant went to a 50-50 lifeline, eliminating two wrong answers. Miller correctly picked "gull" and moved to the next level. The next question was about a rare malady that causes a person's hands to move uncontrollably. Among the choices were "Citizen Kane Syndrome," "Dr. Strangelove Syndrome" and "Inspector Clouseau Syndrome."
Viewers at home who had seen the madcap Cold War comedy might have been screaming the answer at their TVs. Miller went to another lifeline, calling friend Randy Sowers at Dilly's. He narrowed it to two choices and Miller picked Strangelove.
"Here's your check for $1,000," Vieira said, as the audience let out a collective "Awww." Vieira then said, "Tear it up, because you just earned $25,000!"
The next question gave Miller a choice of letter combinations - Dj, Er, Aq and Ky. Which, she was asked, were not the first two letters of a country?
Miller opted for a replacement question: What other instrument does an English horn resemble? Choices included the trumpet, French horn and oboe.
On television, Miller said she was in band at school, but she had no clue, finally going with French horn.
Alas, Vieira informed her an English horn looks like an oboe.
"Well, I guess you're still working," Dilly's owner Del Mills said, coming over to shake her hand.
Still, Miller came away with money she said will be used to pay debts and make some home improvements. Of course, the tax man gets his share.
"I have to pay him in April," said Miller, as her favorite tax deduction, Maya, happily chewed on toast.
Anita Miller's $50,000 question
Question: A standard fixture in the modern orchestra, the English horn bears a close physical resemblance to which of these other instruments:
C.) French Horn
The correct answer is B.
Anita guessed C, but still walked away with $25,000.