Jeanine McKinney, a Cheraw resident who won $61,500 on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” said she probably would have never even auditioned for the show if her husband hadn’t gotten “sick and tired” of listening to her scream most of the answers at the television set during the show’s broadcast.
When he challenged her to audition for the show, she asked if he would give her the money to do so. As soon as he agreed to that, McKinney was determined to have her shot at the million.
The selection process begins on-line, but it is far from simple, said McKinney. If you are chosen from the questions on line to appear for an interview and audition, it’s up you to get to New York, rent a hotel room and check in with ABC Studios, she said.
All of that is rather expensive, McKinney said, “In New York, breakfast alone is $39.”
Energy, she learned from other hopeful contestants, is what the scouts are hoping to find during the auditions, McKinney said. “And I’ve got plenty of that!”
McKinney was chosen from a pool of about 6,000 people from across America who qualified for auditions.
“It was quite an experience! I wish I could do it again.,” McKinney said.
The show was actually filmed last fall on Halloween and lots of people in the audience were dressed in costume. That just added to the atmosphere and excitement, she said.
“One thing about Meredith (the show’s host) that people may not know,” said McKinney, is just how thin she really is and how cold her hands are. “I kept telling her I was going to take her home to South Carolina and feed her some chicken.”
McKinney was on a cruise near Nassau when the show aired last Wednesday. She was able to watch from the ship the beginning of her debut on national television, but the satellite failed to receive signal before her segment was over.
“Of course, I know how it ended … It was too much money to risk. I took the $61,500. I wasn’t at all sure where the tablets of Moses are today.”
In case you don’t know, the tablets are in Ethiopia.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, ext. 224, or by email at email@example.com.