GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Breaking News

Latest Cape Ann News

February 25, 2009

'Millionaire' contestant misses out of $25K magic

Gloucester resident Mary Flaherty didn't consult a Magic 8 Ball before taking her place in the "hot seat" on the New York City set of "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" last September, but it might have helped if she had.

Flaherty, an attorney and Legal Studies professor at Suffolk University in Boston, walked away with $16,000 on yesterday's installment of the syndicated TV quiz show, seen locally on WCVB Channel 5 at 12:30 p.m.

Flaherty, 48, cruised through the first several questions and quickly accumulated $16,000 with each of her four lifelines — "Ask The Audience," "Double Dip," "Ask the Expert" and "Phone A Friend" — intact.

The animated mother of two daughters said her brain is full of "useless trivia," but the game's $25,000 question trumped her knowledge in the category "Geometric Figures."

The $25,000 question read: "The fortune-telling die inside a standard Magic 8 Ball is an icosahedron, meaning it has how many triangular faces?"

Flaherty first called her brother Christopher Flaherty, of Silver Spring, Md., who at first told his sister he didn't know the answer, but in the last second before the call was disconnected, suggested the answer to be "20."

Flaherty wasn't confident of Christopher's answer (which in the end was the correct choice) and opted to ask the audience, but when the studio audience's vote was evenly spread among the four answers, Flaherty was not convinced and decided not to answer the question and walk away with the guaranteed $16,000 despite having two more lifelines left.

If she had guessed incorrectly, she would have fallen back to $1,000.

Flaherty, who vowed to take her family on a trip to Finland this year, said she didn't use her "Ask the Expert" lifeline because she didn't think the expert, Ashleigh Banfield, an international reporter and co-host of "Banfield & Ford: Courtside" on Tru-TV, would know the answer.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN