Would a stay-at-home Rock Hill mom who sells Tupperware for mad money fly to New York for a chance to win $1 million?
You bet, says Rock Hill's Christine Jock, who will appear on pre-taped versions of the syndicated television show "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" on Thursday and Friday evenings.
Jock, 32, mother of four girls ages 3 to 9, can't reveal how much money she won -- if any -- until after the shows air. But she said it was a fun, and that host Meredith Vieira is a "very nice person."
Her potentially lucrative adventure began when her mother went to a "Millionaire" tryout in Charlotte last summer. She asked Jock to tag along.
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They sat around, then sat some more, before being ushered into a theater, where they took two tests with a No. 2 pencil. Jock's mother did not pass the test, but the mom-of-four was asked to stay for an interview.
The next week, Jock was invited to New York for a taping. She and her husband, who works for a Charlotte construction firm, flew up in August.
"They teach you to sit in the chair so you don't tip it over, and so forth," Jock said. "It's not as big an audience as it looks like on TV. They are actually people who have come to try out, too."
She was the last in a group of eight contestants and did not do much but eat breakfast and two lunches the first day of taping. She had to stay over for a second day.
She met Vieira when it was her turn to tape. Vieira chatted with her during breaks, but it remained a tense experience.
"I was scared about the music and the lights going up," Jock said. "It's very surreal. It's unnerving. You can't see or hear things very well. There was a lot of noise from the crowd. It felt like a dream. They told us it's not supposed to be comfortable."
Trisha Miller, the show's publicist, said it's called "the hot seat." About 1,800 contestants have been on the show since its inception and won a grand total of $42 million, she said.
The show began in 1999 on ABC in prime time with Regis Philbin as host. Disney-ABC Domestic Television syndicated it with Vieira in 2002.
Contestants can win $1 million if they answer 15 consecutive multiple-choice questions increasing in difficulty. Contestants can quit at any time and take what they have earned, or continue and risk losing everything with an incorrect answer.
If they reached two "safety zones," they can take part of their earnings: The first five correct answers guarantees $1,000, and the first 10 guarantees $25,000.
Contestants also get three "lifelines" if they are stumped: They can ask the audience, have two incorrect answers removed from the choices and phone a friend anywhere in the United States for 30 seconds.
Jock would like to pay for her daughters' college education, buy a camper and a pontoon boat for family trips and a dream home. But she's not saying whether her show winnings will allow her to do that.
"I haven't told my closest friends," she said. "I've had to be mean to everybody."
"Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" featuring Rock Hill's Christine Jock will air at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday on Charlotte's WBTV Channel 3.
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