Remember that game show where contestants answered a series of Regis Philbin’s questions in hopes of winning $1 million?
Well, it’s still on the air, only Cedric the Entertainer is now the host, and an Aspen native is competing on the show this week.
Cale Scheinbaum, who attended Aspen High School until 1996, got his chance to be on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” during a live taping of the show. As a member of the audience, he took the contestant quiz, and at the end of the taping, producers called out three names, including his. Afterward, he met with a line producer, who asked him some trivia questions on camera, and a week later, he was asked to be on the show.
“I’m a big bar-trivia fan,” said Scheinbaum, who now works in New York City as a planner and analyst for Macy’s. “So whenever I go out with friends and there’s any kind of trivia going on, I’m usually competing in it or trying to. So a friend of mine said, ‘You’ve got to try out for “Millionaire” because it’s taped in New York.’”
A contract forbids Scheinbaum from revealing whether he won any money, but the episodes he was present for will air at 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday on ABC. There are a number of ways to get onto the show, but for Scheinbaum, he did not have to compete in Fastest Fingers, which was the only way to get on during the show’s hay day. While on set, he said half his mentality was to have fun, and the other half was to make money.
All contestants are booked for two days. Scheinbaum did not appear on the show the first day, which he said gave him a competitive advantage.
“The first day that I went, that I didn’t get on, I basically spent the whole day in their little ready room in a state of frantic anticipation,” he said. “The next day I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve seen it. I know what this is about.’”
Scheinbaum also has taken the “Jeopardy” quiz, once in person and once online, both times unsuccessfully. He still remembers one of the answers he got wrong: “A seven-letter word beginning with the letter P that means low class.” The question, which is now stuck in his head, was, “What is plebeian?”
Scheinbaum had nothing but praise for Cedric the Entertainer, who took over for Meredith Vieira, the show’s host from 2002 to 2013.
“He was fantastic,” Scheinbaum said. “Total pro — if you had to pick a host for one of these things, they did a great job.”
Scheinbaum said thoroughly enjoyed his “Millionaire” experience, and he encourages anyone who has the opportunity to take the quiz.