'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?' contestant falls at the final fence, but friend knew the £1m answer

John Robinson from Birmingham (Credit: ITV)
John Robinson from Birmingham (Credit: ITV)

The first contestant to reach the million pound question on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in more than a decade fell at the final hurdle last night in an unbearably tense show.

John Robinson, a 36-year-old English teacher from Birmingham, went home with a respectable £500,000, after deciding to not to answer the final question.

Host Jeremy Clarkson asked: “Which of these UK Prime Ministers never served as Foreign Secretary? A. Winston Churchill B. Alec Douglas-Home C. Anthony Eden D. Harold Macmillan.”

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Unsure of the correct answer, Robinson decided to keep his prize fund.

However, if he’d have answered Winston Churchill, he’d now be a millionaire, and in a cruel twist, his ‘phone-a-friend’, Martin, knew the right answer.

“Had I saved him for the final question, I’d be a millionaire. But I can’t be too disappointed because I needed him for the £250,000 engineering question,” Robinson told The Daily Mirror.

After winning, he added: “I was shaking my head and laughing. It’s like Monopoly money. I thought someone would come through and say, ‘right, that’s the end of the practice, now for the real thing’.”

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He’s said that he plans to buy a house and propose to his girlfriend Chloe.

“I’ve no longer got the excuse that I can’t afford a ring!” he joked.

It’s been 13 years since the last time a contestant was asked a million pound question, and Clarkson’s first time since taking over presenting duties from Chris Tarrant.