Seven’s quiz show Million Dollar Minute rewrote the record books this afternoon when contestant Jonathan Maher took home a life-changing $510,500 – believed to be the biggest cash win on an afternoon quiz show in Australian television.
With just seconds left on the clock, Maher admits he completely guessed his final answer to receive the biggest cash pay-day in afternoon game show history:
Who played the title role in the 1994 movie, 'Maverick'?
“That last question had me stumped; I knew it was either Kevin Costner or Mel Gibson. If I had more time to think about it I would have chosen Costner and lost $500,000 but I had no time left so I just chose Mel Gibson without thinking,” he said.
There was no time to celebrate post-win, with his bags packed and passport ready, Maher had a pre-booked 6.30pm flight to London to reunite with his wife who had left days earlier for their European holiday.
Maher said he was supposed to join his wife last week but had to push it back because of his unexpected success on Million Dollar Minute.
“I was in a dilemma whether to take the $300,000 win last week or risk it for $500,000 this week…I wanted to go further in the show and that meant missing four days of our holiday.”
After the show, Maher missed his booked flight by only seconds at Melbourne airport so he took the next available – and rewarded himself with his first ever business class ticket to Europe.
Maher described his win as ‘life-changing’: “It will wipe the mortgage and leave me with plenty more cash… when I get to Europe I will say to my wife ‘Hi honey, I just won half a million dollars, how about a hug? I think she will flip out”.
MILLION DOLLAR MINUTE airs weekdays at 5.30pm on Channel Seven.