Lake Carmel Man on TV!

Barbara Livingston Nackman

The Journal News

Viewers of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" on ABC-TV last night had a chance to see a quick wave from a Lake Carmel resident.

"Sadly, my dreams weren't realized," said Matt McLain, 40, who competed on two fast finger rounds, but just wasn't fast enough. "It's a five-second wave."

He lost out to John Norquist of Fairfax, Va., who eventually won $250,000.

McLain did not qualify to move into the hot seat opposite Regis Philbin. He could put movies in order of their release date, but not quickly enough, he said.

On his second try, he had to put in order of the publication date novels about presidents. "Those just weren't my topics," said McLain, a recreational counselor at Lincoln Hall in Somers, a residential facility for at-risk youth.

To be chosen, prospective contestants must answer questions by telephone and take a 30-question exam. Then each contestant must pass muster during an on-camera interview.

McLain was one of 130 contestants chosen from 4,000 people nationwide, said Trisha Miller, the show's publicist.

"We have an avid fan base for the show, and many want to be contestants," she said.

The show premiered Aug. 16, 1999, and has given away almost $42 million. Since there hasn't been a million-dollar winner in more than 70 segments, said Miller, the top prize has been raised to $1.82 million.

So much the better for McLain, who has applied be a contestant again.

"It's a slight obsession," he admits, "or at least my wife says so.



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Wednesday, January 5, 2005