#109: Patricia Heaton's Millionaire Meltdown
Whining about simple math? Sounds like a Millionaire moment to me!


ABC: (August 17th, 2009)


Well, that wraps up this edition of the Zeroaires. Let's just hope I don't have to do a fourth one next year. I'm running out....

Chairman Chico:  Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaait just one minute there, Rob.

Oh, hey there Chairman Chico.  (note: This is Chico Alexander from Game Show News Net.)  How goes everything?

Chairman Chico:  Going great. Carolina's dancing. Duke isn't. Life is good. ANYWAY... There's one more thing you have yet to gloss on.

And what would that be?

Chariman Chico: And the guys and I, We've been going on about it for the last two years.  Maybe three.

Chairman Chico: Patricia Heaton... on Millionaire 10th Anniversary.  Doesn't know what 1.5 times 5 is.


And now, back to your regularly scheduled induction.

Millionaire was the end-all, be-all of game shows when it first came out in 1999.  It was tough to get through all 15 of the questions and win the million.  Over the course of 10 years, things changed. 

Firstly, Regis didn't join the show in syndication and we're forced to suffer through Meredith Viera.

Secondly, no more Fastest Finger, which could have worked for the syndicated show, just simply had all 10 contestants there for the week, then play the game as normal. 

Thirdly, in 2008 a new format took over for the usual millionaire format to liven up the game and bolster the bottom line in the Clock format. 

While the format was universally panned and replaced with even more changes that will be covered in the future when the show either A: Reverts to the first format or B: Gets a new format or C: Gets cancelled.

In 2009, ABC decided to throw a special anniversary celebration for the show, which helped get them out of the ratings muck in the late 90s, early 2000s.  We were treated to 11 days of Millionaire.

It melded Regis, the Fastest Finger and the clock format, and then for the last section, they added a celebrity to answer a question for charity.

While normally, this ended up being your usual shill-job for the celebrities next project and answering a $2,000 question for $50,000 for charity, it would be harmless. 

However, the harm came on night 7 of the special when we treated to one of the most agonizing moments in the shows history. 

Enter Patricia Heaton.

Patricia Heaton is an actress who currently stars on the ABC series, The Middle.  I haven't seen the show, nor do I care.  I'm not a fan of the current batch of Sitcoms, like Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, Last Man Standing, The Office, Raising Hope, among others.  Anyways, she said that the money would be divided into two charities.  One of them is a medical clinic of Sierra Leone and the Westside Pregnancy Clinic.  So, let's take a look at her question.

If a euro is worth $1.50, five Euros is worth what?

A: 30 Quarters, B: 50 Dimes, C: 70 Nickels, D: 90 Pennies.

Now any sane person or celebrity would either A: Think it through, B: Spend some time before asking for help or C: all of the above.  If this were any of those moments, this wouldn't be on the site.  Patricia decided to whine and moan about it because it was a math question and since she was from Ohio State, she claims to be so bad at math, unless it involved a football game or a basketball game.  She went on to say she puts everything on credit cards and when her kids were in 2nd grade, she couldn't help them with math.  Anyways, after that episode, she claim she can't do the math and then continues to whine about the damned question.

After about a minute of whining, she finally decides to use her lifeline and calls her husband, David.  The audience is relieved.  I am assuming they haven't heard that big of a breakdown since 2004 when the Yankees lost 4 straight to the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS.  Patricia exclaims that he is from Europe and knows about the Euro.  So, with that in mind she's hoping he would know the answer so she didn't have to do basic 4th grade math. 

Patricia reads the question and the choices, but unfortunately for her David says that she cut out and needs the answers again.  If he's in Sierra Leone, I could understand that.  However, this guy was in Los Angeles at home.  If he couldn't understand what the hell she was saying, then he's probably dumber than Patricia was at this night.  Eventually she did finish reading it a second time, but then time ran out and that was the end of David, perhaps the most useless phone a friend since god knows when.  At this point I fear for the kids.  If these two clods are this stupid, then I bet the kids in 3rd grade are probably more intelligent than 10 of these two combined.

After all of that, Patricia sounds like she has given up, thank god.  Saying, "I'll throw in the other $25,000.  Especially if I don't have to tell you how many nickels it is."  It shouldn't come as a shock to all that the audience cheered loudly after she said that.  After hearing all that whining and complaining about the question, it was finally the most positive thing she said about the question.  However, one thing about this.  She forgot that she isn't against a timer and she can still answer the damned question.  Regis had to drill this into her head so that we could finally get this damned thing over with. 

After all of that, Regis has to hold her hand throughout the rest of the question, by having her do simple mental math like how many dimes are in a dollar and saying that 50 dimes are 5 dollars and that 90 pennies are 90 cents.  So now after 4 minutes of all of this garbage of her bitching and moaning, we finally get her to answer the question we've been trying to get her to answer for the past three minutes.  After each time she does a correct math equation, the audience bursts into cheers.  I don't know if it's a canned applause or real, but I'm betting on real.  I'll explain later.  But when she figures out that seventy nickels is only $3.50, the audience is ecstatic because now she knows the answer and the long national nightmare is finally over!

In short, she gets it right and the $50,000.  To which, me, the audience there and at home share Regis's sentiments.

Exactly Regis.  That's why you're million times better than Meredith.

While this might be a run of the mill terrible moment, here's where it gets really crappy.  What you've just heard me comment on, is the edited segment.  According to reports from the audience, what took us 8 minutes to sit through on TV, took the live audience 20 or so minutes to sit through.  Apparently, she was even more whiny than what was shown on TV.  One of the few things that Michael Davies actually got right nowadays.  Patricia would continue on as the mom on The Middle and nowadays being a complete nobody in my eyes.  Yay for not watching primetime network TV!

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