Happy Birthday, Pat Sajak! On October 26, 1946, Patrick Leonard Sajak was born in Chicago, Illinois. Before, becoming a pop culture icon, he wore different hats. He was an English-language announcer for a Spanish-language radio station in Chicago, a DJ for Armed Forces Radio in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, a DJ in Kentucky, and then he was a weatherman all before he became the host of Wheel of Fortune in 1975. In 1983, Wheel of Fortune became a syndicated evening program and it has remained on the air ever since with Pat Sajak and Vanna White as co-hosts.
This month, we are also wishing the NY Writers Coalition a Happy Birthday, with a 10 day celebration in honor of its 10th anniversary. Monday, October 29, 2012 is a new day in 10 Days of NYWC in which we bring you Trivia Night! We are calling all book lovers, film buffs, music aficionados, and brave hearts to join us at One Mile House at 7:00pm to test your expertise on all things pop culture. The night is hosted by trivia veterans Stuart Post and Chris Kelley. You can compete alone or form your own dream team.
The past decade was an interesting one for game shows and trivia quiz shows. We said hello to some shows, goodbye to others, and saw television hosts come and go, all the while contestants racked up big bucks. Here are Five Great TV Game Show Moments of the 2000s:
1. John Carpenter is a Millionaire
Who Wants to be a Millionaire premiered in August of 1999 with host Regis Philbin. The 1990s ended with IRS Agent John Carpenter as the first contestant to become a millionaire on the quiz show in November of 1999. His final question required him to name Richard Nixon as the only president to have appeared on the original sketch comedy show Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In. Before answering the question, he used his lifeline to phone his father. However, instead of asking his father for the answer, John told him: “I don’t really need your help. I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to win the million dollars.” And win he did. He later invested his winnings and he now resides in Connecticut as an advisor for the Internal Revenue Services.
2. The Ken Jennings Era of Jeopardy!
On June 2, 2004, Jeopardy! entered the era of Ken Jennings. Ken Jennings, a software engineer from Utah, is Jeopardy!’s longest running contestant. He appeared in over 74 games between June 2004 and November of 2004 and went on to win over $2.5 million. Is his 75th game, against fellow contestant Nancy Zerg, he was ahead by $4,400 when Alex announced the final question: “Most of this firm’s 70,000 seasonal white-collar employees work only four months a year.” Jennings incorrectly responded: “What is FedEx?” while Zerg correctly responded “What is H&R Block?” winning the game and dethroning Jennings. Today, Jennings is an author with three books published, the most recent: Maphead: Charting the Weird, Wide World of Geography Wonks.
3. Three Way Tie on Jeopardy!
On March 16, 2007, three contestants, Jamey Kirby, Anders Martinson and Scott Weiss all answered the final Jeopardy! question correctly. Each won $16,000 as they identified Bonnie Parker, of the famed Bonnie and Clyde duo as a woman who, as a waitress, once served one of the men who shot her in the category of “Women of the 1930s.” This was the first time in Jeopardy!’s history that a non-zero three-way tie ended the show.
4. The Price will not be right without Bob Barker
On November 1, 2006, Bob Barker announced his retirement after 35 years as the host of The Price is Right. The American version of the show aired in 1972 making Bob Barker the longest running game show host in television history. Barker was later replaced by actor and comedian Drew Carey.
5. Michelle Loewenstein wins Millions on Wheel of Fortune
Spin the wheel, buy a vowel, or solve the puzzle. Wheel of Fortune contestant Michelle Loewenstein did it all and on October 8, 2008, she saw the dial land on that million dollar wedge and became the first contestant in Wheel of Fortune history to win millions, with one phrase: “Leaky faucet.” Loewenstein, a newlywed when she went on the show had this to say at the time: “I’ve had some really good luck. I got engaged on 7/7/07 and the show was filmed on 8/8/08. I can’t wait until 9/9/09”
NYWC’s Ten Under 10 Writing Series is a virtual event for 10 Days of NYWC.
Help NYWC raise as many $10 donations as possible October 22-31 during 10 Days of NYWC and compete to win some great prizes! If we raise $10,000 or more during the 10 Days of NYWC, every dollar raised will be matched by an anonymous family foundation, so please help us exceed this goal to turn $10,000 into over $20,000! Every donation counts, and you can participate in a few ways.