Daily Almanac for Saturday, November 19, 2022

On this date in 1999,John Carpenter became the first contestant to win $1,000,000 on the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire! Here is John Carpenter on the set (courtesy Who Wants To Be A Millionaire)


John Carpenter (born December 24, 1967) is an American game show contestant and Internal Revenue Service agent. He is the twelfth highest-earning American game show contestant of all time. Carpenter is best known for becoming the first top-prize winner on the American version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and the first ever top-prize winner in the entire Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? franchise. He held the record for the largest single win in United States game show history, until it was broken by Rahim Oberholtzer who won $1.12 million on another U.S. quiz show, Twenty One.

On the November 19, 1999, episode of Millionaire, Carpenter proceeded to advance to the million-dollar question without using any lifelines. He then used his Phone-a-Friend to call his father, not for help, but rather to tell him he was going to win the game. Carpenter answered the question correctly and became the show’s first millionaire. His win gave him national recognition and led to multiple talk show appearances, as well as subsequent appearances on Millionaire. Carpenter is currently 54 years old.

(file photo)

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (often informally called Millionaire) is an international television game show franchise of British origin, created by David Briggs, Mike Whitehill and Steven Knight. In its format, currently owned and licensed by Sony Pictures Television, contestants tackle a series of multiple-choice questions to win large cash prizes in a format that twists on many game show genre conventions – only one contestant plays at a time, similar to radio quizzes; contestants are given the question before deciding whether to answer, and have no time limit to answer questions; and the amount offered increases as they tackle questions that become increasingly difficult. The maximum cash prize offered in most versions of the format is an aspirational value in local currency, such as one million pounds in the U.K. or 75 million rupees (7.5 crore) in India.

The original British version debuted on 4 September 1998 on the ITV network, hosted by Chris Tarrant, who presented his final episode on 11 February 2014 after which the show was discontinued. A revived series of seven episodes to commemorate its 20th anniversary aired from 5 to 11 May 2018, hosted by Jeremy Clarkson. The revival received mostly positive reviews from critics and fans, as well as high viewing figures, leading ITV to renew the show for several more series. Since its debut, international variants of the game show have been aired in around 160 countries.


Question of the Day

What does it mean to “pull out all the stops”?

This phrase means to put all one’s efforts and energies into something in order to have it succeed. It originally referred to an organ player, who must manipulate the numerous “stops” of the instrument to achieve the desired musical effect, usually involving both hands, both feet, and several keyboards. If all the stops were pulled out on many traditional organs, the volume would be intolerable.

Advice of the Day

Nature, time, and patience are the three great physicians.

Home Hint of the Day

A rocking chair will “walk” forward or from side to side when one rocker is smaller or more worn than the other. To correct this, turn the chair over and plane the bottom of the larger rocker to match the size of the smaller one.

Word of the Day


A quick, rolling movement; a gallop. To boil with a continued bubbling or heaving and rolling, with noise.

Puzzle of the Day

From a word of five letters, take two and leave one.

Stone. Alternate answers include: Clone, Drone, Prone


  • George Rogers Clark (military leader) – 1752
  • James Garfield (20th U.S. president) – 1831
  • Tommy Dorsey (musician) – 1905
  • Roy Campanella (baseball player) – 1921
  • Larry King (radio & television personality) – 1933
  • Dick Cavett (talk show host) – 1936
  • Ted Turner (businessman) – 1938
  • Calvin Klein (fashion designer) – 1942
  • Eileen Collins (astronaut) – 1956
  • Meg Ryan (actress) – 1961
  • Jodie Foster (actress) – 1962


  • Franz Schubert (composer) – 1828
  • Emma Lazarus (poet) – 1887
  • Sir Basil Spence (architect) – 1976
  • Mike Nichols (director) – 2014
  • Ron Hynes (Canadian singer-songwriter) – 2015
  • Della Reese (singer and actress) – 2017
  • Larry Korn (agricultural educator and author) – 2019


  • Christopher Columbus first sighted what is now Puerto Rico– 1493
  • Jay’s Treaty between the U.S. and Great Britain signed– 1794
  • President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address– 1863
  • Hudson Bay Co. ceded territory to Canada– 1869
  • Boss Tweed sentenced to 12 years in prison, New York City– 1873
  • Frederick Blaisdell was granted a patent for a paper-wrapped pencil– 1895
  • Five-year old TIME magazine presented a cover portrait for the first time– 1928
  • Leonard Bernstein appointed Music Director of the New York Philharmonic– 1957
  • Ford Motor Co. discontinued the Edsel– 1959
  • Pele, Brazilian soccer star, scores his 1000th goal, at Maracana Stadium, Rio de Janiero.– 1969
  • John Carpenter became the first contestant to win $1,000,000 on the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire– 1999
  • David L. Pickens granted patent for registered pedigree stuffed animals”“– 2002


  • Up to 18 inches of snow fell on the Great Plains of Colorado, with 5-foot drifts in suburban Denver– 1956
  • Seventy-nine degrees F, Denver, Colorado– 1989

COURTESY www.almanac.com